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MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



VOL. I. 



MEMORIALS 




OF 



THOMAS HOOD. 



COLLECTED. AKRANGED, AND EDITED BY HIS DAUGHTER. 



A PREFACE AND NOTES BY HIS SON. 



ILLUSTRATED WITH COPIES FEOM HIS OWN SKETCHES. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 



VOLUME I. 



BOSTON: 
TIOKNOR AND FIELDS. 

M DCCC LX. 



COSSINGTON, BrIDGEWATER, EnG., 

June 5, 1860. 

Messrs. Ticknor and Fields, 
Boston, U. S. 
Gentlemen : — 

We grant you with pleasure all the right we can to reproduce 
the " Memorials " in the United States. In ofifering you the early 
sheets for republication, we wish you all success in the undertaking, 
and beg to sign ourselves. 

Yours, truly, 

THE CHILDREN OF THOMAS HOOD. 

(Frances Freeung Broderip.) 
(Thomas Hood.) 



University Press, Cambridge : 
Stereotyped and Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co. 



V./ 



TO 



THE PEOPLE: 

FOR WHOM THOMAS HOOD WROTE AND LABOURED. 



PREFACE. 



In submitting the following memorials to the public, 
my sister and myself would wish, at the first outset, to 
warn those who think to find in them fine biographical 
writing, that the book is not for them. We have seen too 
many great men fail in that art, and we feel no desire 
to emulate them. Our own part in this work is small, 
being restricted to such explanations and amplifications 
as were necessary to connect the letters, to which we 
have added, here and there, characteristic anecdotes, to 
which reference is made in them. 

Our language we have endeavoured to render as simple 
as possible. If therefore, at any time, it warms into a 
higher strain, it is solely at the promptings of the heart, 
and not by artistic design. Indeed, any such trick or 
premeditation could not have existed at the same time 
with the feelings called up by a task, how solemn, how 
sad, and how unutterably absorbing, none can tell, who 
have not experienced a like sensation of mingled pleas- 



viii PREFACE. 

ure and pain ; for, although the latter predominate, there 
is some of the former in the performance of such a labour 
of love. 

It is owing chiefly to this fact that the publication of these 
volumes has been so long delayed. To us, to turn over 
the MSS. for these pages — to consult the letters, written 
in that well-known, clear hand — was to recall to memory 
such a flood of recollections of dead joys, of long past 
sorrows, of gentle, loving deeds and words, that we may 
well claim to be excused if we were slow in our pro- 
gress, and lingered somewhat over pages, that were often 
hidden from us by our tears. 

Looking back now on my own emotion, while reading 
over these memorials, I can scarcely think how I should 
be so moved after the lapse of fifteen years, and I can 
fully realise how intensely painful must the compilation 
have been to my sister, who, as the elder, was more inti- 
mately connected with, and has a clearer memory of the 
events chronicled, than I. 

We are well aware that there is considerable ground 
for the popular objection to Biographies, written by rela- 
tives ; but we are of opinion, that, in this case, the ad- 
vantages to be gained by the Editorship of some leading 
literary man of the day, are more than balanced by the 
intimate knowledge and understanding we have of all the 
incidents and acts of our father's life. Although, as will 



PREFACE. ix 

be seen, he numbered among his friends many distin- 
guished writers, they can none of them know, nor could 
we impart to them our perceptions (if I may use the term) 
of that inner private life, which gave a stamp to the 
character his writings claimed for him — that of a benevo- 
lent, loving, Christian gentleman. 

We are the better enabled to prepare these memorials, 
because we were never separated, for any length of time, 
from our parents, neither of us having been sent to a 
boarding-school, or in our earlier years confined to that 
edifying domestic Botany Bay — the Nursery — where 
children grow up by the pattern of unwatched, unedu- 
cated, hired servants. 

How our father ever made of us companions, and was 
ready in return to be our playfellow, will be mentioned 
elsewhere. 

Having then undertaken this " labour of love " our- 
selves, in preference, with all humility nevertheless, to 
entrusting it to others, comparative strangers, however 
distinguished; we repose, hopefully, on the generosity 
and consideration of the English people, with whom we 
have ever found our father's name a passport to the 
sympathies. 

As regards the form and arrangement of these pages, 
a few words only are necessary. Each Chapter, with 
the exception of two, contains the events of a year ; that 



X PREFACE. 

having appeared to us the most simple and natural divis- 
ion. In the letters we have done our best to omit every- 
thing approaching to a repetition. If we have not, 
altogether, and at all times succeeded, we can only plead 
as an excuse the difficulties we have had to encounter ; 
and the same must be said for any passage, which may 
give unintentional pain to those mentioned in it. 

In the last volume we have ventured to reprint some 
of our father's less-known effusions, not included in the 
later editions of his works, and to offer to the public a 
few pieces hitherto unpublished, and, for the most part, 
more or less unfinished. 

The illustrations consist, in the first place, of two fac- 
similes ; the one of a sheet of the " Song of the Shirt," 
as first written out, and the other of the sketch for his 
own monument drawn by our father towards the close of 
his last illness. The remaining vignettes are from sketches 
rapidly dashed off by him for our amusement. Many of 
them are from sheets of similar oddities, which we used 
to find, to our huge delight, lying on our pillows occasion- 
ally of a morning. He had drawn them overnight, be- 
fore going to rest, after the long hours of his literary 
labour were done. They may have perhaps too great a 
value in our eyes, but we have added them to complete 
the memorials, as indications, however slight, of the un- 
tiring humour, and self-forgetful thought for the pleasure of 



PREFACE. xi 

others, which could suggest and create them after the men- 
tal and physical labour of a weary night's composition.* 

Having explained our plan in these volumes, I will add 
a few words on a subject which I feel it my duty to speak 
of rather plainly. 

It has always been a popular misconception that men 
of letters, as a rule, are freethinkers. It is my own earnest 
belief, that the higher mental organization and refined 
sensibility of men of letters render them, almost to a fault, 
reserved in expressing a religious faith, for the very rea- 
son that they feel it so deeply and solemnly. 

My father's religious faith was deep and sincere : but 
it was but httle known to a world ever too apt to decide 
by hearing professions, rather than by scrutinising ac- 
tions. Those to whom his domestic life was every day 
revealed, felt how he lived after the divine requirements : 
for he " did justice," sacrificing comfort, health, and for- 
tune, in the endeavour ; he " loved mercy " with a love 
that was whispering into his ear, even as he was dying, 
new labours for his unhappy fellows ; and he " walked 
humbly with his God " in a faith too rare to be made a 
common spectacle ; for, as he said — 

" I consider faith and prayers 
Among the privatest of men's affairs." 

* Another reason for their insertion is, that they will give a fairer 
notion of his artistic skill, to which the cuts in the Comic Anmials 
did but inadequate justice. 



xii 



PREFACE. 



* * * * 

As regarded others' opinions, he was most indulgent. 

" Intolerant to none 
Whatever shape the pious rite may bear ; 
Ev'n the poor heathen's homage to the Sun 
I would not rashly scorn — lest, even there 
I spurn'd some element of Christian prayer ; 
An aim, tho' erring, at a ' world ayont,' 
Acknowledgment of good, of man's futility, 
A sense of need, and weakness, and indeed 
The very thing so many Christians want — 
Humility." 

In a similar spirit, he bids us — 

" Ne'er o'erlook, in bigotry of sect, 
One truly Catholic^ one common form. 

At which, uncheck'd, 
All Christian hearts may kindle, or keep vrarm. 
Say — was it to my spirit's gain or loss, 
One bright and balmy morning, as 1 went 
From Liege's lovely environs to Ghent, 
If hard by the wayside I found a Cross, 
That made me breathe a prayer upon the spot — 
Where Nature of herself, as if to trace 
The emblem's use, had traU'd around its base 
The blue significant Forget-Me-Not V 
Methought the claims of Charity to urge 
More forcibly, along with Faith and Hope, 
The pious choice had pitched upon the verge 

Of a delicious slope. 
Giving the eye much variegated scope ; — 
' Look round,' it whisper'd, ' on that prospect rare, 
Those vales so verdant, and those hills so blue ; 



PREFACE. 



xiii 



Enjoy the sunny world, so fresh so fair, 
But ' — (how the simple legend pierced me thro' !) 
' Priez pour les Malheureux ! ' " 

I Lim impelled to quote one more passage from the 
" Ode to Rae Wilson," because the appealing advice con- 
tained in it has since been acted on. I wonder does any 
working-man, when he attends one of the special evening 
services held for the poor and the labouring classes in our 
metropolitan minsters and churches, ever think of his 
affectionate friend and advocate, who once wrote thus ? 

" Oh ! simply open wide the Temple door, 
And let the solemn, swelUng organ gTeet, 

With Voluntaries meet, 
The willing advent of the rich aad poor ! 
And, while to God the loud Hosannas soar, 
With rich vibrations from the vocal throng — 
From quiet shades that to the woods belong, 

And brooks with music of their own, 
Voices may come to swell the choral song 
With notes of praise they learned in musings lone ! " 

Almost my father's last words were, " Lord — say 
' Arise, take up thy cross, and follow me.' " 

He had borne that cross during his whole life, but the 
quiet unobtrusive religious faith I have endeavoured to de- 
scribe, supplied him with exemplary patience under severe 
sufferings, with cheerfulness under adverse circumstances, 
with a manly resolution to wrong no one, with an affec- 



xiv PREFACE. 

tionate longing to alleviate the suffering of all classes, 
and with a charity and love that I will not do more than 
touch on, for fear I should be thought to be carried away 
by my feelings. 

My mother was a fitting companion for such a husband ; 
she shared his struggles, and soothed his sorrow, and was 
so much a part of his very existence, that latterly he could 
hardly bear her out of his sight, or write when she was 
not by him. We have been frequently obliged to omit 
large portions of his letters to her — it would have been 
sacrilege to alter them, and we did not feel it right to 
publish what was intended for her eyes alone — the ten- 
der epithets, and the love-talk ; so fond, and yet so true. 
I quote here one passage, as a sample of those which 
occur so frequently in the letters. 

" I never was anything, dearest, till I knew you — and 
I have been a better, happier, and more prosperous man 
ever since. Lay by that truth in lavender, sweetest, and 
remind me of it when I fail. I am writing warmly and 
fondly; but not without good cause. First, your own 
affectionate letter, lately received — next the remem- 
brances of our dear children, pledges — what darling 
ones ! — of our old familiar love, — then a delicious im- 
pulse to pour out the overflowings of my heart into 
yours ; and last, not least, the knowledge that your dear 
eyes will read what my hand is now writing. Perhaps 



PKEFACE. XV 

there is an after-thought that, whatever may befal me, 
the wife of my bosom will have this acknowledgment of 
her tenderness — worth — excellence — all that is wifely 
or womanly, from my pen." 

Throuorhout his lono^ illnesses she was his constant nurse 
and unwearying companion, nor did she long survive him. 
One trait in her character I record as an example for 
mothers. She never, even in the most unimportant mat- 
ters, answered my childish inquiries as to the various 
things, which naturally attracted my young thoughts, with 
anything but the truth. I can truly say now that after- 
experience has never discovered anything, in which she 
deceived me, as some do, to put a stop to tedious ques- 
tionings. The consequence is, that, in many matters of 
faith, hard to understand and grasp, the only reason I 
can give for holding them, but that is an all-sufficient one, 
is " that I learnt to believe it of my mother, and she never 
taught me what was untrue." That memory has been an 
anchor on which I have rested, when otherwise I might 
have lost myself in blind gropings after the intangible. 

I must not close this preface (although it has already 
exceeded the limits I assigned it), without a grateful ref- 
erence to Miss Eliza Cook, and the originators and pro- 
moters of the movement, which led to the erection of the 
noble monument to my father in Kensal Green ; a mon- 
ument which has not its peer in England, whether for the 



xvi 



PREFACE. 



universal subscriptions wliich raised it, or for the chaste 
and unique novelty of its design. 

From the managers and furtherers of the undeilak- 
ing, or from the distinguished names on the subscription 
lists, it would be ungracious and invidious to select any 
for special notice ; but a similar reason to that, which led 
me to connect my father's slight sketches with these me- 
morials, induces me to select from the humbler names on 
the lists such donations as the following : " trifling sums 
from Manchester, Preston, Bideford, and Bristol — from 
a few poor needlewomen — from seven dressmakers — 
from twelve poor men." 

I should be wanting indeed in appreciation of the peo- 
ple's love for my dead father, if I did not, (by incorpo- 
rating them with this work,) endeavour to rescue from 
oblivion these tokens of the gentle remembrance, by the 
poor, of the Poet 

" Who sang the Song of the Shirt." 

T. H. 



Note. The Vignette on page vi. is a sketch of the arms, which 
my father used to say he should adopt, if the Queen would give 
him a grant — "a heart, pierced with a needle threaded with silver 
tears,"— the motto, "He Sang the Song of the Shirt." 

The crest was one he selected in jest, quoting Shakespeare — " The 
ox hath his bow, sir; the horse his curb; and the falcon her bells;" 
so why should n't the Hood have his hawk? 

It is worth noticing that the little silhouettes of Animals, &c., in- 
terspersed among the other vigiiettes, were drawn long before " Piinch ' ' 
appeared with his spirited little black cuts. 



CONTENTS OF VOL. 1. 



CHAPTER I. 
From 1799 to 1835. 

PAGE 

Birth and Parentage. — Apprenticed to an Engi*aver. — Goes to 
Scotland for his Health. — Assistant Sub-Editor of " The Lon- 
don." — Acquaintance with the Reynolds Family. — " Odes and 
Addresses." — He marries Miss Jane Reynolds. — Robert Street, 
Adelphi. — Birth and Death of First Child. — " Whims and Oddi- 
ties." — " National Tales." — " Plea of the Midsummer Fairies." 

— Edits " The Gem." — "Eugene Aram." — "Winchmore. — 
Birth of Second Daughter. — Anecdotes, Fondness for the Sea, 
&c. — " The Comic Annual." — Acquaintance with the Duke of 
Devonshire. — The Chatsworth Library Door. — " Tylney Hall." 

— Connection with the Stage. — Is presented to his Majesty 
King William IV. — Lake House, Wanstead. — Anecdotes, &c. 1 



CHAPTER II. 
1835. 

He is involved in Difficulties by the Failure of a Firm. — Birth of 
only Son. — Ilhiess of Mrs. Hood. — Acquaintance with Dr. El- 
liot. — Goes to Germany. — Nearly lost in the " Lord Melville." 
— At Rotterdam. — Letters to his Wife. — Joined by her and the 
Children at Coblenz. — Letter from Mrs. Hood to Mrs. Elliot. — 
Acquaintance with Lieutenant De Franck. — Letters to Mr. and 
Mrs. Dilke, Mr. Wright, and Lieutenant De Franck. . . .46 



XVlll 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER in. 

1836. 

PAGE 

At Coblenz. — Letters from Mrs. Hood to Mrs. Elliot. — Letters to 
Mr. Wright and Mr. Dilke. — Accompanies the 19th Polish In- 
fantry in their March to Berlin. — Letters to his Wife. — Returns 
to Coblenz. — Illness. — Letters to Lieut, de Franck, Mr. Wright, 
and Mr. Dilke. — Commences " Up the Rhine." . . . .117 

CHAPTER IV. 
1837. 

At Coblenz. — Letters to Mr. Wright, Lieut, de Franck, and Dr. 
Elliot. — Leaves Coblenz. — Settles at Osteud. — Letters to Mr. 
Wright, Dr. Elliot, and Mr. Dilke. 222 

CHAPTER V. 
1838. 

At Ostend. — Illness. — " Hood's Own." — Mrs. Hood to Mrs. 
Dilke. — Portrait Painted by Mr. Lewis. — Letters to Mr. 
Wright, Lieut. De Franck, and Mr. Dilke 276 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



CHAPTER I. 

FROM 1799 TO 1835. 

Birth and Parentage. — Apprenticed to an Engraver. — Goes to Scot- 
land for his Health. — Assistant Sub-Editor of " The London." — 
Acquaintance with the Reynolds Family. — " Odes and Addresses." 
— He marries ]\Iiss Jane Reynolds. — Robert Street, Adelphi. — 
Birth and Death of first Child. — " Whims and Oddities." — » Na- 
tional Tales." — "Plea of the Midsummer Fairies." — Edits " The 
Gem." — " Eugene Aram." — Winchmore. — Birth of second Daugh- 
ter. — Anecdotes, Fondness for the Sea, &c. — " The Comic Annu- 
al." — Acquaintance with the Duke of Devonshire. — The Chats- 
worth Library Door. — " Tylney Hall." — Connection with the 
Stage. — Is presented to his Majesty King William IV. — Lake 
House, Wanstead. — Anecdotes, &c. 

THE public record of Thomas Hood has been long 
before the world — either in the quaint jests and 
witty conceits, that enlivened many a Christmas fireside ; 
or in the poems, which were his last and best legacy to 
his country. All that remains is the history of his pri- 
vate life — that " long disease," as it was truly called, so 
long, and so severe, that it was only wonderful that the 
sensitive mind and frail body had not given way before. 
From his earliest years, with the exception of a few 

VOL. I. 1 A 



2 



MEMOEIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



bright but transient gleams, it was a hand to hand strug- 
gle with straitened means and adverse circumstances. 
It was a practical illustration of Longfellow's noble 
Hues — 

" How subhme a thing it is 
To sujBfer and be strong." 

He possessed the most refined taste and appreciation 
for all the little luxuries and comforts that make up so 
much of the enjoyments of life ; and the cares and an- 
noyances that would be scarcely perceptible to a stronger 
and rougher organisation, fell with a double weight on 
the mind overtasked by such constant and harassing oc- 
cupation. He literally fulfilled his own words, and was 
one of the " master minds at journey-work — moral 
magistrates greatly underpaid — immortals without a liv- 
ing — menders of the human heart, breaking their own 
— mighty intellects, without their mite." The income 
his works now produce to his children, might then have 
prolonged his life for many years; although, when wo 
looked on the calm happy face after death, free at last 
from the painful expression that had almost become ha- 
bitual to it, we dared not regret the rest so long prayed 
for, and hardly won. 

His life, like that of most modern literary men, was 
very barren of incident; there is therefore little to re- 
late, save the ebb and flow of health and strength — 

" As in his breast the wave of life 
Kept heaving to and fro." 

The reader must bear this in mind, if wearied with 
the recurrence of the chronicle of sickness and suffering. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



a 



"With the distinct and even minute foreknowledge of 
organic and mortal disease, liable at any moment to a 
fatal and sudden termination, it must indeed have been a 
brave spirit to bear so cheerfully and courageously, as he 
did, that life, which was one long sickness. He knew 
that those dearest to him were dependent on his exer- 
tions, and his mental powers were cramped and tied down 
by pecuniary necessity ; while his bodily frame was en- 
feebled by nervousness and exhaustion. 

Of my father's birth and parentage we can glean but 
few particulars ; his own joking account was, that, as his 
grandmother was a Miss Armstrong, he was descended 
from two notorious thieves, ^. e. Robin Hood and Johnnie 
Armstrong. I have found his father's name mentioned 
in " Illustrations of the Literary History of the Eigh- 
teenth Century," by J. B. Nicholls, F.S.A. : — 

August '20th. — At Islington, of a malignant fever, 
originating from the effects of the night air in travelling, 
Mr. Thomas Hood, bookseller, of the Poultry. Mr. Hood 
was a native of Scotland, and came to London to seek 
his fortune, where he was in a humble position for four or 
five years. * * * His partner, Mr. Vernor, died soon 
afterwards. Mr. Thomas Hood married a sister of Mr. 
Vernor, junior, by whom he had a larg^ family. He was 
a truly domestic man, and a real man of business. Mr. 
Hood was one of the ' Associated Booksellers,' who select- 
ed valuable old books for reprinting, with great success. 
Messrs. Vernor and Hood afterwards moved into the 
Poultry, and took into partnership Mr. C. Sharpe. The 
firm of Messrs. Vernor and Hood published ' The Beau- 
ties of England and Wales,' ' The Mirror,' ' Bloomfield's 



4 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



Poems,' and those of Henry Kirke White. Mr. Hood 
was the father of Thomas Hood the celebrated comic 
poet." 

The above account is, I believe, tolerably correct, 
except that Mr. Hood married a Miss Sands, sister to 
the engraver of that name, to whom his son was after- 
wards articled. Mr. Hood's family consisted of two sons, 
James and Thomas, and four daughters, Ehzabeth, Anne, 
Jessie, and Catherine. At his house in the Poultry, on 
the 23d of May, as far as we trace, in the year 1799, 
was born his second son Thomas, the subject of this 
memoir. The first son, James, was supposed to be the 
most promising, fond of literature, and a good linguist, a 
more rare accomplishment then than now. He drew 
exceedingly well in pen and ink, and water-colours, as 
also did one or two of the sisters. The elder Mr. Hood 
was a man of cultivated taste and literary inclinations, 
and was the author of two novels which attained some 
popularity in their day, although now their very names 
are forgotten. No doubt his favourite pursuits and his 
profession influenced in no small degree the amusements 
and inclinations of his children ; and, for those days, they 
must have been a very fairly intellectual family. 

James Hood, however, died at an early age, a victim 
to consumption, which ultimately carried off his mother 
and two sisters. After the sudden death of the father, 
the widow and her children were left rather slenderly 
provided for. My father, the only remaining son, pre- 
ferred the drudgery of an engraver's desk to encroaching 
upon the small family store. He was articled to his un- 
cle, Mr. Sands, and subsequently was transferred to one 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



5 



of the Le Keux. He was a most devoted and excellent 
son to his mother, and the last days of her widowhood 
and decline were soothed by his tender care and affection. 
Her death was, I have often heard him say, a terrible 
blow to him. I have now in my possession a little 
sketch of his, of his mother's face as she lay in her coffin. 
His sister Anne did not survive her very long,* but I 
cannot ascertain the date of either of their deaths. 

An opening that offered more congenial employment 
presented itself at last, when he was about the age of 
twenty-one. By the death of Mr. John Scott, the editor 
of the " London Magazine," who was killed in a duel, 
that periodical passed into other hands, and became the 
property of my father's friends, Messrs. Taylor and Hes- 
sey. The new proprietors soon sent for him, and he be- 
came a sort of sub-editor to the magazine. 

I am exceedingly indebted to the kindness and cour- 
tesy of Messrs. Taylor and Hessey (who have both sur- 
vived almost all their contributors ) for several particulars 
relating to my father's early life. From the latter gen- 
tleman's letter on the subject I have ventured to quote 
largely. 

" I remember," he says, " often having seen the late 

* The lines entitled "The Death-Bed," (in the "Englishman's 
Magazine,") and commencing, 

" We watched her breathing through the night," 
were written at the time of her death. The poem has been frequently- 
quoted, without the name of the author, and so, with several others of 
my father's writings, is not generally known to be his. Shortly after 
my father's death, when "The Serious Poems" were published, a 
Latin translation of " The Death-Bed " appeared in the " Times." — 
T. H. 



6 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



Mr. Hood when he was a mere boy at the house of his 
father, whom I had the pleasure of knowing intimately 
for many years. He was, as far as I can recollect, a 
singular child, silent and retired, with much quiet hu- 
mour, and apparently delicate in health. He wan, I 
believe, educated at a school in the neighbourhood of 
London,* and at the age of fifteen or sixteen was articled 
to his uncle, Mr. Sands, as an engraver. His health, 
however, beginning to suffer from confinement, it was 
found necessary to put an end to that engagement, and 
He was sent to a relation in Scotland,t where he remained 
some years with great benefit. He returned to town 
about the beginning of the year 1821. In that year the 

* This school was either at Clapham or Camberwell. I can re- 
member my father's pointing it out to me, while we were living at 
the latter place. At that time it was converted into a naval school, 
I think. Of many schoolboy tricks and adventures, related by him, I 
regret that I can recal only very faint recollections, for they were 
very laughable, and might go among the exempla minora to prove the 
rule " the child is father to the man." Amongst other anecdotes, I 
remember one in which he was the instigator of a purely homoeo- 
pathic revenge upon the footman, who was permitted to vend nuts, 
parliament, and marbles to the pupils. Monopoly of trade induced 
the man to raise the price above the " outside " standard, whereon 
characteristic retaliation was inflicted by raising the articles (that is 
the desk in which they were kept) by four cords to the schoolhouse 
ceiling. When the charges were lowered, the desk was permitted to 
follow their example. — T. H. 

t According to his own ' Literary Reminiscences,' he was clerk iu 
a merchant's ofRce. But I doubt this, as most probably a " mis- 
chievous invention " for committing puns. He was two years in 
Scotland, and made his first appearance in print there — first in the 
Dundee paper in a letter, and afterwards in a local magazine. He did 
not, however, he says, adopt literature as a profession till long after. 
— T. H. 



MEMOEIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



7 



' London Magazine ' came into the hands of Mr. Taylor 
and myself, after the death of the editor, Mr. John Scott ; 
and Mr. Hood was engaged to assist the editor in correct- 
ing the press, and in looking over papers sent for inser- 
tion. This was his first introduction to the literary world ; 
and here he first amused himself by concocting humorous 
notices and answers to correspondents in the ^ Lion's 
Head.' * His first original paper appeared in the num- 
ber for July, 1821, vol. iv. p. 85, in some verses *To 
Hope.' I find nothing more of his until November of 
the same year, when his humorous * Ode to Dr. Eatch- 
ener ' appeared in the * Lion's Head * of that month ; a 
poem, ' The Departure of Summer,' in the body of the 
number, p. 493 ; and * A Sentimental Journey from Is- 
lington to Waterloo Bridge,' in the same number, p. 508. 
From that time he became a regular contributor, and as 
many as twenty-four more papers of various kinds ap- 

* " The Echo," in Hood's Magazine, was a continuation of this 
idea. Some of the replies to imaginary letters were very quaint. I 
append a few, extracted at random, because the magazine is not so 
weU known or so often met with now, as to render me liable to the 
charge of quoting what every one knows. 

*' Verity. It is better to have an enlarged heart than a con- 
tracted one, and even such a hcemorrhage as mine than a spitting 
of spite." 

" ' A Chapter on Bustles ' is under consideration for one of our 
Back-numbers." 

" N. N. The most characteristic ' Mysteries of London ' are those 
which have lately prevailed on the land and the river, attended by 
collisions of vessels, robberies, assaults, accidents, and other features 
of Metropolitan interest. If N. N. be ambitious of competing with the 
writer, whom he names, let him try his hand at a genuine, solid, 
yellow November fog. It is dirty, dangerous, smoky, stinking, ob- 
scure, unwholesome, and favorable to vice and violence." — T. H. 



8 



MEMOEIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



peared, the last being ' Lines to a Cold Beauty,' in June, 
1823, after which time I find no further production of his 
pen. 

" Mr. Hood's connection with the * London Magazine ' 
led to his introduction to our friend Mr. Reynolds (and 
through him to his sister) and to the various contributors 
to the work, — Charles Lamb, Allan Cunningham, Hazlitt, 
Horace Smith, Judge Talfourd, Barry Cornwall, the Rev. 
IL F. Carey, Sir Charles A. Elton, Charles Phillips, Dr. 
Bowring, John Clare, Thomas De Quincey, George Dar- 
ley, the Rev. Charles Strong, Wainwright, Hartley Cole- 
ridge, Bernard Barton, Richard Ayton, the Rev. Mr. 
Crowe, Rev. Julius Hare, Rev. Dr. Bliss, John Poole, 
Esq., &c. &c. 

"At the end of the year 1824 the magazine passed 
into the hands of another person as proprietor and edi- 
tor, and I have no means of ascertaining who were then 
its chief supporters ; but I do not believe Mr. Hood con- 
tributed to it at all. Mr. Reynolds continued to write in 
that work till the end of the year 1824. 

" It may perhaps be interesting to you to have a list of 
the articles contributed by Mr. Hood, and I have great 
pleasure in sending you the enclosed, which I believe is 
tolerably correct. Most of them, I suppose, have been 
reprinted. 

" My acquaintance with Mr. Hood ceased about the 
year 1823, till which time I had enjoyed the pleasure of 
constant communication with him. Soon afterwards I 
went into the country, and, I regret to say, I never saw 
him again." 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



9 



PAPERS CONTRIBUTED TO THE "LONDON MAGAZINE" 
BY THE LATE THOMAS HOOD. 

Vol. IV. July to December, 1821. 

Page 85. To Hope. 

468. Ode to Dr. Kitchener. 

493. Departure of Summer. 

508. Sentimental Journey from Islington to Waterloo 
Bridge. 

Vol. V. January to June, 1822. 

Page 3. " Please to ring the Belle." 

203. Faithless Sally Brown. 

269. The Sea of Death. 

311. To Celia. 

375. To an Absentee. 

404. Moral Reflections written on the top of St. Paul's. 

422. The Stag-eyed Lady. 

427. On Mr. Martin's Pictures and the Bonassus. 

Vol. VI. July to December, 1822. 

Page 141. Lycus the Centaur. 

276. Hymn to the Sun. 

304. The Two Peacocks of Bedfont. 

388. " Now the loud cry." — Nimrod. 

494. Midnight. 

497. On a Sleeping Child. 

517. Presentiment. A Fragment. 

536. Sonnet, " Most delicate Ariel." 

Vol. VII. January to June, 1823. 

Page 96. Fair Ines. 

187. Ode to Autumn. 

215. Sonnet to Silence. 

541. Sonnet written in Keats' " Endymion." 

565. Sonnet to an Enthusiast. 

636. Sonnet— Death. 

660. To a Cold Beauty. 
1* 



10 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



My father's first acquaintance with my mother's family 
must have commenced somewhere in 1821, through her 
brother, John Hamilton Reynolds. The father, Mr. Rey- 
nolds, was head writing-master at Christ's Hospital, and 
with his family then resided in that very Little Britain 
so quaintly and well described by Washington Irving in 
his " Sketch Book." Here, no doubt, many a cheerful 
evening was spent among such a pleasant circle of friends 
and acquaintances. John Keats, Edward Rice, and a 
Mr. Bailey were all familiar friends and constant corre- 
spondents of the young Reynoldses. I think however my 
father's intimacy dated rather later, for I do not think he 
was well acquainted with any of the above mentioned 
trio. But about this time must have originated his long- 
standing friendship with Mr. and Mrs. Dilke, who were 
known to all parties. 

John Hamilton Reynolds was himself a writer for the 
" London Magazine," in which appeared several articles 
from his pen, under the signature of " Edward Herbert." 
He was also the author of a small volume of poems, 
" The Garden of Florence," which was favourably noticed 
at the time. To him, my father, in a very friendly manner, 
dedicated " Lycus the Centaur." A congeniality of pur- 
suits and likings drew them together — a connection that 
was afterwards by my father's marriage with his sister to 
be still further strengthened. It was a pity it did not 
survive to the end, for on one side at least it was charac- 
teristically generous and sincere.* 

* My uncle is often referred to in the letters as " John." A frequent 
correspondence was kept up between my father and him, which would 
have afforded materials of much value towards the compilation of these 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



11 



It was " in the pleasant spring-time of their friendship," 
and " with the old partiality for the writings of each other, 
which prevailed in those days," that many pleasant versi- 
fied encounters occurred. This may be instanced by the 
following verses which were inserted in the "Athenaeum." 
When Miss Fanny Kemble took leave of the English 
stage, at her farewell performance she took off her 
wreath and threw it into the body of the house. The 
following verses were written by my father, as from a 
young farmer in the country. 

MISS FANNY'S FAREWELL FLOWERS. 

Not " the posie of a ring." 

Shakespeare (all but the not). 

I came to town a happy man, 

I need not now dissemble 
Why I return so sad at heart, 

It 's all through Fanny Kemble. 
Oh, when she threw her flowers away. 

What urged the tragic slut on 
To weave in such a wreath as that, 

Ah me, — a bachelor's button ! 

None fought so hard, none fought so well, 

As I to gain some token — 
When all the pit rose up in arms. 

And heads and hearts were broken ; 

memorials. I regret to say they are unavailable, owing to Mrs. John 
Reynolds' refusal to allow us access to them. It is a great disappoint- 
ment that the public should be thus deprived of what would become 
its property after publication — the records of one of its noted writ- 
ers. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



Huzza ! said I, I '11 have a flow'r 
As sure as my name 's Dutton. 

I made a snatch — I got a catch — 
By Jove ! a bachelor's button ! 

I 've lost my watch — my hat is smashed 

My clothes declare the racket ; 
I went there in a full dress coat, 

And came home in a jacket. 
My nose is swell'd, my eye is black, 

My lip I 've got a cut on — 
Odds buds ! — and what a bud to get — 

The deuce ! a bachelor's button ! 

My chest 's in pain ; I really fear 

I 've somewhat hurt my bellows, 
By pokes and punches in the ribs 

From those herb-strewing fellows. 
I miss two teeth in my front row ; 

My corn has had a fut on ; 
And all this pain I 've had, to gain 

This cursed bachelor's button ! 

Had I but won a rose — a bud — 

A pansy — or a daisy — 
A periwinkle — anything 

But this — it drives me crazy ! 
My very sherry tastes like squills, 

I can't enjoy my mutton ; 
And when I sleep I dream of it — 

Still — still — a bachelor's button ! 

My place is booked per coach to-night, 
But oh, my spirit trembles 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



13 



To think how country friends will ask 

Of Knowleses and of Kembles. 
If they should breathe about the wreath, 

When I go back to Sutton, 
I shall not dare to show my share — 

That all ! — a bachelor's button ! 

My luck in life was never good, 

But this my fate will harden : 
I ne'er shall like my farming more, — 

I know I shan't the Garden. 
The turnips all may have the fly. 

The wheat may have the smut on, — 
I care not, — I 've a blight at heart — 

Ah me ! a bachelor's button ! 

To this Mr. Reynolds replied with the follow- 
ing— 

LINES TO mSS F. KEMBLE, 

on the flower scuffle at covent garden theatre. 

By Curl-Pated Hugh. 

" Make a scramble, gentlemen, — make a scramble." 

Boys at Greenwich. 

Well, this flower strewing I must say is sweet, 
jVnd I long. Miss Kemble, to throw myself considerably at your 
feet ; 

For you 've made me a happy man in the scuffle, when you 

jerk'd about the daisies ; 
And ever since the night you kiss'd your hand to me and the 

rest of the pit, I 've been chuck full of your praises ! 



14 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



I 'm no hand at writing (though I can say several things that 's 
handsome) ; 

But that ignorance, thank my stars ! got me off when I was 

tried for forging upon Ransome. 
I did n't try to get the flowers, which so many of your ardent 

admirers were eager to snatch ; 
But I got a very good-going chronometer, and for your sake 

I '11 never part with the watch ! 

I 've several relics from those who got your relics — a snuff- 
box — a gold snap ; 

A silver guard and trimmings from a very eager young chap ; 

Two coat flaps with linings, from a youth, who defying blows 

And oaths, and shovings, was snatching at, and I 'm sorry to 
say missing, the front rose ! 

One aspiring young man from the country rushed at the 

wreath like a glutton. 
But he retired out of the conflict with only a bachelor's button ! 
Another in a frenzy fought for the flowers like anytliing crazy. 
But I 've got his sMrt-pin, and he only got two black eyes and 

a daisy. 

The thought of you makes me rich — Oh, you 're a real friend 
to free trade ; 

You agitate 'em so and take their attention off — If you 'd 
keep farewelling my fortune 'd be made. 

Oh, how I shall hate to make white soup of the silver, or part 
with anything for your sake ! 

I'll wear the country gentleman's brooch, on your account, 
it 's so very pretty a make ! 

I didn't get a bud — indeed, I was just at the moment busy 

about other things ; 
I wish you 'd allow me to show you a choice assortment of 

rings — 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



15 



You understand the allusion; but I'm in earnest — that's 
what I am ; 

And though I 'm famous a little — domestic happiness is better 
than all fame ! 

Well, you 're going over the water — (it may be my turn one 

of these days) ; 
Never heed what them foreigners the Americans says ! 
But hoard your heart up tiU you come back, and if I luckily 

can 

Scrape up enough, you shall find me yours, and a very altered 
young man ! 

Conjointly with my uncle Reynolds, my father wrote 
and published, although anonymously, "Odes and Ad- 
dresses to Great People." This had a great sale, and 
occasioned no little wonder and speculation as to the 
author, as will be seen from the following letter from S. 
T.. Coleridge to Charles Lamb. It appears to have been 
sent for perusal, as the copy I have is in my father's 
handwriting. 

My dear Charles, 
This afternoon, a little, thin, mean-looking sort of 
a foolscap sub-octavo of poems, printed on dingy out- 
sides, lay on the table, which the cover informed me was 
circulating in our book-club, so very Grub-streetish in all 
its exteriors, internal as well as external, that I cannot 
explain by what accident of impulse (assuredly there was 
no motive in play) I came to look into it. Least of all, 
the title, " Odes and Addresses to Great Men," which 
connected itself in my head with " Rejected Addresses " 



16 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



and all the Smith and Theodore Hook squad. But my 
dear Charles, it was certainly written by you, or under 
you, or una cum you. I know none of your frequent 
visitors capacious and assimilative enough of your con- 
verse to have reproduced you so honestly, supposing you 
had left yourself in pledge in his lock-up house. Gillman, 
to whom I read the spirited parody on the introduction 
to Peter Bell, the " Ode to the Great Unknown," and to 
]Mrs. Fry — he speaks doubtfully of Reynolds and Hood. 
But here come Irving and Basil Montagu. 

Thursday night, 10 o'clock. — No! Charles, it \&you. 
I have read them over again, and I understand why you 
have anon'd the book. The puns are nine in ten good, 
many excellent, the Newgatory transcendant ! And then 
the exemplum sine exemplo of a volume of personalities, 
and contemporaneities, without a single line that could in- 
flict the infinitesimal of an unpleasance on any man in his 
senses — saving and except perhaps in the envy-addled 
brain of the despiser of your lays. If not a triumph over 
him, it is at least an ovation. Then moreover and besides, 
to speak with becoming modesty, excepting my own self, 
who is there but you who could write the musical lines 
and stanzas that are intermixed ? 

Here's Gillman come up to my garret, and driven 
back by the guardian spirits of four huge flower-holders 
of omnigenous roses and honeysuckles (Lord have mer- 
cy on his hysterical olfactories ! What will he do in 
Paradise ? I must have a pair or two of nostril plugs or 
nose-goggles laid in his coffin), stands at the door, read- 
ing that to Mc Adam, and the washerwoman's letter, and 
he admits the facts. You are found in the manner, as 



MEMOKIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



17 



the lawyers say ; so, Mr. Charles, hang yourself up, and 
send me a line by way of token and acknowledgment. 
My dear love to Mary. God bless you and your 

Unshamabrami zer, 

S. T. Coleridge. 

On the 5th of May, 1824, the marriage of my father 
and mother took place.* In spite of all the sickness and 
sorrow that formed the greatest portion of the after-part 
of their lives, the union was a happy one. My mother 
was a woman of cultivated mind and literary tastes, and 
well suited to him as a companion. He had such confi- 
dence in her judgment that he read, and re-read, and 
corrected with her all that he wrote. Many of his arti- 
cles were first dictated to her, and her ready memory 
supplied him with his references and quotations. He 
frequently dictated the first draft of his articles, although 
they were always finally copied out in his peculiarly 
clear neat writing, which was so legible and good, that it 
was once or twice begged by printers, to teach their com- 
positors a first and easy lesson in reading handwriting. 

Of late years my mother's time and thoughts were en- 
tirely devoted to him, and he became restless and almost 
seemed unable to write unless she were near. 

The first few years of his married life were the most 

* I have reason to believe that the match was not entirely approved 
of by my mother's family — not perhaps unreasonably, for it could not 
have seemed very pnident: but the attachment was strong and gen- 
uine on both sides, and so the course of true love at length reached its 
goal, though not perhaps running very smoothly. The poems, " I love 
Thee," " Still flows the gentle streamlet on," and several others, were 
written at this time. — T. H. 

B 



18 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



unclouded my father ever knew, The young couple re- 
sided for some years in Robert Street, Adelphi. Here 
was born their first child, which to their great grief 
scarcely survived its birth. In looking over some old 
papers I found a few tiny curls of golden hair, as soft as 
the finest silk, wrapped in a yellow and time-worn paper 
inscribed in my father's handwriting : — 

" Little eyes that scarce did see, 

Little lips that never smiled ; 

Alas ! my httle dear dead child, 
Death is thy father, and not me, 
I but embraced thee, soon as he ! " 

On this occasion those exquisite lines of Charles 
Lamb's, "On an infant dying as soon as born," were 
written and sent to my father and mother. 

I much regret that there is no record left of the pleas- 
ant days of this intimacy with Charles Lamb and his sis- 
ter. It was a very lively and sincere friendship on b6th 
sides, and it lasted up to the time of Mr. Lamb's death. 
When my father lived at Winchmore, the Lambs were 
settled at Enfield, so that they were tolerably near neigh- 
bours. My father's " Literary Reminiscences," in " Hood's 
Own," are almost the sole memorials left of his acquaint- 
ance with all those, who form such a brilliant list in Mr. 
Hessey's letter.* But few now survive, nor are there 

* One of them — Wain^vright — in the 7th vol. of " The London " 
(1823) criticises my father's bent and style with such an accurate per- 
ception of them, as to forestal all later critics. My father wrote occa- 
sionally under the name of Theodore M . 

" Young Theodore ! young in years, not in power ! Our new Ovid ! 
— only more imaginative ! — Painter to the visible eye — and the in- 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



19 



any written memoranda upon which to found any chron- 
icle of that period : living so near, and being on such in- 
timate terms with many of them, was almost sufficient 
reason that but few letters remain to throw any light on 
the subject. Had they lived in the time of the penny 
post, there would probably have been a goodly collection 
of "notelets" or "chits," but in those days of heavy post- 
age, a letter was a more serious undertaking. 

In 1826 appeared the first series of "Whims and Od- 
dities," which had a very good sale. It was dedicated to 
the "Reviewers" in a humorous sort of epigram as fol- 
lows : — 

DEDICATION. 

TO THE REVIEWERS. 

What is a modern Poet's fate ? 
To write his thoughts upon a slate : 
The critic spits on what is done, 
Gives it a wipe — and all is gone ! 

ward ; — commixture of what the superficial deem incongruous ele- 
ments ! — Instructive living proof how close lie the founts of laughter 
and tears ! Thou fermenting brain — oppressed, as yet, by its own 
riches. Though melancholy would seem to have touched thy heart 
with her painful (salutary) hand, yet is thy fancy mercurial — unde- 
pressed ; — and sparkles and crackles more from the contact — as the 
northern lights when they near the frozen pole. How ! is the fit not 
on? Still is ' Lycus' without mate! — Who can mate him but thy- 
self? Let not the shallow induce thee to conceal this thy depth. 
* * * * As for thy word gambols, thy humour, thy fantastics, 
thy curiously-conceited perceptions of similarity in dissimilarity, of 
coherents in incoherents, they are brilliantly suave, innocuoiisly ex- 
hilarating; — but not a step farther if thou lovest thy proper peace! 
Read the fine of the eleventh, and the whole of the twelfth chapter of 
' Tristram Shandy; ' and believe them, dear Theodore! " 



20 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



This first series took so well with the public, that a 
second edition followed, — and some time afterwards, in 
1827, a second series appeared, dedicated to Sir Walter 
Scott. This was followed by two volumes of " National 
Tales," a series of stories, or rather novelettes, somewhat 
in the manner of Boccaccio. These are now utterly out 
of print ; they were published by Mr. W. H. Ainsworth, 
then living in Bond Street. 

The " Plea of the Midsummer Fairies," * a very fa- 
vourite poem of his own, appeared in 1827, but it did 
not exactly suit the public taste, and many copies re- 
mained unsold on the publisher's shelf. My father after- 

* This most artistic poem has latterly been more fairly appreciated 
in spite of its antiquated style. The art, trath, and pictorial skill, as 
in the " Haunted House," require patient and quiet criticism. I may 
mention in reference to this subject, that the first book (of course, by 
Lamb's rules, " Readings made Easy " and the like are not books) that 
I read was selected by my father, and was the " Jlidsummer Night's 
Dream." Of this I read all the fairy portion one summer's day, 
perched at an open window on a fitting couch composed of bales of 
"sheets" — probably the sheets of the very work which suggested 
this note. At that time I was about seven years old. 

It is not out of place here to insert a sonnet by the late Mr. Moxon, 
of Dover Street. That gentleman was an old friend of my father's, 
whom I have frequently heard speak of him in the warmest terms, as 
one whose own talents enabled him to recognise genius in others, and 
whose integrity and liberality as a man of business were without 
parallel. My father, not often fortunate in his dealings, used to say, 
"Moxon is the only honest publisher I know," — a sentence which, 
though severe, was warranted by his experience, and the losses he had 
met with through dishonesty. It remains — a most grateful task — 
for my sister and myself to add our heartfelt tribute to our father's 
praise of Mr. Moxon. We shall never forget his generous arrange- 
ments for the publication of our father's poems after his death ; and 
most deeply do we regret that Mr. Moxon has not lived to superintend 



MEMOEIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 21 



wards bought up the remainder of the edition, as he said 
himself, to save it from the butter shops. 

The poem of " Eugene Aram's Dream" first appeared 
in an annual called the " Gem," of which in the year 
1829 he was editor, but it was afterwards republished in 
a separate form with drawings by Harvey, an intimate 
friend of my father's. 

In 1829 he left London for Winchmore Hill, where he 
took a very pretty little cottage situated in a pleasant 
garden. He was very much attached to it, and many 
years afterwards I have known him point out some fan- 
cied resemblance in other places, and say to my mother, 
" Jenny, that 's very like Winchmore." It is a pretty 
neighbourhood even now, when the great metropolis has 

the publication of these Memorials of one, between whom and himself 
so cordial a friendship existed. — T. H. 

SONNET. 

TO T. HOOD, WRITTEN AFTER READING HIS " PLEA OF THE 
MIDSUMMER FAIRIES." 

Delightful Bard ! what praises meet are thine, 
More than my verse can sound to thee belong; 

Well hast thou pleaded, with a tongue divine, 
In this thy sweet and newly-breathed song, 
Where like the stream smooth numbers gliding throng: 

Gathered, methinks, I see the Elfin Kace, 
With the I:mmortal standing them among, 

Smiling benign with more than courtly grace ; — 

Rescued I see them — all their gambols trace, 
With their fair Queen Titania in her bower, 

And all their avocations small embrace. 
Pictured by thee with a Shaksperian power — 
Oh, when the time shall come thy soul must flee, 
J'hen may some hidden spirit plead for thee. — Edward Moxon. 



22 MEMOEIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



encroached far on the " Green Lanes," and in those days 
no doubt was considered quite in the country. 

An amusing incident took place during their remov al 
from town. A large hamper of glass and china had ar- 
rived from town by the carrier one morning, and the con- 
tents, being unpacked, were placed, pro tempore, on a 
dresser in the china closet. This wooden shelf had been 
only newly mortared into the wall, and when all this 
weight was put on it, of course it came suddenly down 
with an alarming crash. My father who was within 
hearing soon came to the scene of action, or rather frac- 
tion, and, after coolly surveying the damage, very quietly 
sent the maid to her mistress with the message " that the 
china which came up in the morning, had come down in 
the evening." This to his great amusement brought my 
mother, in a state of utter mystification, to the scene of 
the catastrophe. They were, however, both cheerful peo- 
ple, and the breakage was borne with tolerable philoso- 
phy on both sides. 

He enjoyed playing off little harmless practical jokes 
on my mother, who on her part bore them with the 
sweetest temper, and joined in the laugh against herself 
afterwards with great good humour. She was a capital 
subject for his fun, for she believed implicitly in whatever 
he told her, however improbable, and though vowing se- 
riously every time not to be taken in again, she was sure 
to be caught. Her innocent face of wonder and belief 
added greatly to the zest of the joke. 

On one occasion soon after their marriage, my father 
was suddenly seized with rheumatic fever of a severe 
kind. On his partial recovery he was ordered to Brigh- 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



23 



ton to recruit his strength. Sea air always produced a 
beneficial effect on liis health ; and for many years he 
was in the habit of visiting Brighton, or his favourite 
haunt, Hastings, for a few weeks. 

At the time I mention he was so weak as to be obliged 
to be lifted into the coach at starting, but the next day, 
refreshed by the first breath of the bracing air, he was 
almost himself. At breakfast he offered to give my 
mother a few hints on buying fish, adducing his own su- 
perior experience of the sea, as a reason for informing 
her ignorance as a young housekeeper. "Above all 
things, Jane," said he, " as they will endeavour to impose 
upon your inexperience, let nothing induce you to buy a 
plaice that has any appearance of red or orange spots, as 
they are sure signs of an advanced stage of decomposi- 
tion." My mother promised faithful compliance in the 
innocence of her heart, and accordingly when the fish- 
woman came to the door, she descended to show off her 
newly acquired information. As it happened, the wo- 
man had very little except plaice, and these she turned 
over and over, praising their size and freshness. But 
the obnoxious red spots on every one of them still greet- 
ed my mother's dissatisfied eyes. On her hinting a doubt 
of their freshness, she was met by the assertion that they 
were not long out of the water, having been caught that 
morning. This shook my mother's doubts for a moment, 
but remembering my father's portrayal of the Brighton 
fishwomen's iniquitous falsehoods, she gravely shook her 
head, and mildly observed, in all the pride of conscious 
knowledge, " My good woman, it may be as you say, but 
I could not think of buying any plaice with those very 



24 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



unpleasant red spots ! " The woman's answer was a per- 
fect shout. *' Lord bless your eyes, Mum ! who ever seed 
any without 'em ? " 

A suppressed giggle on the stairs revealed the perpe- 
trator of the joke, and my father rushed off in a perfect 
ecstacy of laughter, leaving my poor discomfited mother 
to appease the angry sea-nymph as she could. This was 
a standing joke for many years, in common with the 
story of the pudding, which will appear hereafter. 

My father's attachment to the sea, as I remarked be- 
fore, was very great, and he seized every opportunity of 




getting within reach of it.* He was much amused when 
one of his contemporaries, in a little sketch of his life, 
gravely asserted that he was destined for the sea, but 
would not carry out the intention, owing to his dislike of 
the great ocean. The only ground he could imagine 
there was for this assertion was, that in one of the Com- 

* This cut was one of several sketches drawn by my father to teach 
his wife the names, &c., of the diflferent craft at Hastings. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOIilAS HOOD. 



25 



ics he wrote a sort of burlesque account of first going to 
sea, with all its attendant horrors to a landsman of storm 
and sickness. But this I need hardly say was under a 
fictitious character, and quite the reverse of his own 
opinions. Although his life had twice been in danger 
owing to it, yet his love and relish for the sea and all 
belonging to it partook almost of yearning affection, 
which he has so beautifully expressed in a sonnet pub- 
lished in the last collection of poems, commencing — 

" Shall I rebuke thee, Ocean, my old love ? " 

The allusion here is to the fearful storm he encoun- 
tered in after years, when crossing to Rotterdam. But 
his first peril was of a different kind, as I remember 
hearing the story from his own lips. It occurred before 
his marriage, but in what year I cannot ascertain. He 
was in the habit of going frequently to Hastings, and 
there he enjoyed boating to his heart's content, accompa- 
nied by his favourite old boatman Tom Woodgate, whom 
he commemorated in a sea-side sketch. At this particu- 
lar time my father had just recovered from a severe 
illness, and after a few days' stay at Hastings, he fancied 
a bathe in the open sea would do him good. He had 
often bathed so before; and being a good swimmer he 
used to go out in the boat some way from shore, and then 
undress and plunge in. This he accordingly did, being 
still weak, and when he came up from his first plunge he 
found himself under the boat. Knowing the full extent 
of his danger, he. exerted all his remaining strength and 
dived again, when he succeeded in coming up at some 
distance from the boat. He said he should never forget 

VOL. I. 2 



26 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



his sensations when he saw the green water, "like a 
bubble " getting lighter above him ; he could only com- 
pare it to the often described feelings of persons rescued 
from drowning, when the events of all their past life 
seem to flash before them in a moment. He was so 
utterly exhausted when he came up that he could 
scarcely support himself till the boat reached him. The 
boatman told him afterwards he was dreadfully fright- 
ened, for although the whole occurrence took place in 
perhaps less time than it takes to describe it, the interval 
was quite long enough for his experience to tell him that 
something was wrong. Great was his relief to see my 
father come up at a little distance, and lustily did he pull 
to his help. He owned that he was speculating how he 
was ever to go back to Hastings with the clothes and 
watch, as few would have believed his story. Fortu- 
nately this tragical end was averted, but it was a warn- 
ing to my father ever after. He perfectly understood the 
management of a boat, and would often take the helm, 
but he never attempted bathing in the open sea again. 

During one of his visits to Brighton my father made 
acquaintance with an old lieutenant in the Coast Guard, 
a great oddity, who used to drop in of an evening for a 
quiet rubber. From him ray father learned his solitary 
song ; the only one he was ever known to sing ; and 
quaint and characteristic enough it was. It ran somehow 
in this fashion — 



" Up jumped the mackerel, 
With his striped back, — 
Says he, ' Reef in the mains'l, and haul on the tack, 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



27 



For it 's windy weather, 

It 's stormy weather, 
And when the wind blows pipe all hands together — 
For, upon my word, it is windy weather ! ' " 

This is the only verse that remains as a family tradi- 
tion of the song, but, if I remember rightly, it brought 
in the suggestions of the various fishes for sailing the 
vessel. Now my father, curiously enough, with the most 
delicate perception of the rhythm and melody of versify- 
ing, and the most acute instinct for any jarring syllable 
or word, and peculiarly happy in the musical cadence of 
his own poetry, had yet not the slightest ear for music. 
He could not sing a tune through correctly, and was 
rather amused by the defect than otherwise, especially 
when a phrenologist once told him his organs of time 
and tune were very deficient.* My father used to say 
on the very rare occasions on which he was ever known 
to sing, that he chose this particular song because if he 
was out of tune no one could detect him, especially as he 
made a point of refusing all encores. 

At Winchmore Hill my father must have resided 

* Several people observed this in him, and one, who was just safe- 
landed from a rhapsody on music, in which he had indulged before 
my father, who did n't sympathise, said — " Ah, you know, you 've no 
musical enthusiasm — you don't know what it is ! " It was a danger- 
ous thing to " snub " my father, for he generally gave as good as he 
took. In this instance he said — "Oh yes, I do know it — it's like 
turtle soup — for every pint of real, you meet with gallons of mock, 
with calves' heads in proportion." 

One discovery he did make in music, which was that you cannot 
play on the black keys of a piano without producing a Scotch tune, or 
what will very well pass for one. — T. H. 



28 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



about three years ; and here, in 1830, I was born. In 
the Christmas of the same year the first " Comic An- 
nual" appeared. To Sir Francis Freeling, his friend 
and my godfather, was this volume dedicated by my 
father in the following words, — Sir Francis being at 
that time Secretary to the Postmaster-General : — 

TO SIR FRANCIS FEEELING, BART., 

The Great Patron of Letters, Foreign, General, and Twopenny; dis- 
tinguished alike for his fostering care of the 
Bell, Letters; 
And his antiquarian regard for the 

Dead Letters; 
Whose increasing efforts to forward the spread of intelligence, as 
Corresponding Member of All Societies (and no man fiUs his Post bet- 
ter), have 

Singly, Doubly, and Trebly 
Endeared him to every class ; this first volume of " The Comic An- 
nual," is with Frank permission, gratefully inscribed by 

Thomas Hood. 

A copy of this first volume was, I believe, sent to the 
late Duke of Devonshire, and this I imagine was my 
father's first introduction to him, as I find his Grace's 
letter of thanks for it, dated February 8th, 1831. 

London. 

Sir, 

Accept my best thanks for the beautiful copies of the 
" Comic Annual," which I have had the pleasure of re- 
ceiving from you ; you could not have selected a person 
who has enjoyed more the perusal of your works. 

I am almost afraid of making the following request, 
but perhaps it may be as amusing as it must be easy to 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



29 



you to comply with it, in which case alone I beg you to 
do it. 

It is necessary to construct a door of sham books, for 
the entrance of a library at Chatsworth : your assistance 
in giving me inscriptions for these unreal folios, quartos, 
and 12mos, is what I now ask. 

One is tired of the " Plain Dealings," " Essays on 
Wood," and " Perpetual Motion " on such doors, — on 
one I have seen the names of " Don Quixote's Library," 
and on others impossibilities, such as " Virgilii Odaria," 
— " Herodoti Poemata " — " Byron's Sermons " — &c., 
&c. ; but from you I venture to hope for more attractive 
titles — at your perfect leisure and convenience. I have 
the honour to be. Sir, with many excuses. 

Your sincere humble servant, 

Devonshire. 

In accordance with this request my father, in April, 
sent the following letter to the Duke : 

WiNCHMOEE Hill. 

My Lord Duke, 
On learning that Your Grace is at Chatsworth, I send 
oflf as many titles as have occurred to me ; promising 
mj'self the honour and pleasure of w^aiting upon Your 
Grace with some others on the 14th, and am. 
My Lord Duke, 
Your Grace's most obliged and obedient servant, 

Thos. Hood. 



The list of titles follows this. Some of them have lost 



30 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



the point which the topics of the day gave to them, while 
others appear to be such bond Jide works, that one does 
not always catch the hidden meaning. As an instance of 
this I will mention " The Life of Zimmermann (the au- 
thor of ' Solitude '). By himself:' 

TITLES FOR THE LIBRARY DOOR, CHATSWORTH. 

On the Lung Arno in Consnmption. By D. Cline. 

Dante's Infemo ; or Description of Van Demon's Land. 

The Racing Calendar, with the Eclipses for 1831. 

Ye Devill on Two Styx (Black letter). 2 Vols. 

On cutting ofif Heirs with a Shilling. By Barber Beaumont. 

Percy Vere. In 40 volumes. 

Galerie des Grands Tableaux par les Petits Maitres. 

On the Affinity of the Death Watch and Sheep Tick. 

Lamb's Recollections of Suett. 

Lamb on the Death of Wolfe. 

The j?oj3tician. By Lord Farnham. 

Tadpoles ; or Talcs out of my o-wm Head. 

On the Connection of the River Oder and the River WezeL 

Malthus' Attack of Infantry. 

Mc Adam's Views in Rhodes. 

Spenser, with Chaucer's Tales. 

Autographia; or Plan's Nature, known by his Sig-nature. 
Manfredi. Translated by Defoe. 
Earl Grey on Early Rising. 

Plurality of Livings, with regard to the Common Cat. 
The Life of Zimmermann. By Himself. 

On the Quadrature of the Circle; or Squaring in the Ring. By 
J. Mendoza. 

Gall's Sculler's Fares. 

Bish's Retreat of the Ten Thousand. 

Dibdin's Cream of Tar — . 

Cornaro on Longevitj'- and the Construction of 74's 
Pompeii; or Memoirs of a Black Footman. By Sir W. Gell. 
Pygmalion. By Lord Bacon. 

Macintosh, IMacculloch, and Macaulay on Almacks. 
On Trial by Jury, with remarkable Packing Cases. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 31 



On the Distinction between Lawgivers and Law-sellers. By Lord 
Brougham. 

Memoirs of Mrs. Mountain. By Ben Lomond. 
Feu mon pere — feu ma m^re. Par Swing. 

On Dec. the 22nd, 1832, my father sent His Grace 
the following further instalment of titles, with the letter 
which is printed after them. 

Boyle on Steam. 

Rules for Punctuation. By a thorough-bred Pointer. 
Blaine on Equestrian Burglary ; or the Breaking-in of Horses. 
Chronological Account of the Date Tree. 
Hughes Ball on Duelling- 
Book-keeping by Single Entry 
John Knox on " Death's Door." 
Designs for Friezes. By Captain Parry. 
Remarks on the Terra Cotta or Mud Cottages of Lreland. 
Considerations sur le Vrai Guy, et Le Faux. 
Kosciusko on the Right of the Poles to stick up for themselves. 
Prize poems, in Blank verse. 
On the Site of TuUy's Offices. 
The Rape of the Lock, with Bramah's Notes. 
Haughty-cultural Remarks on London Pride. 
Annual Parliaments ; a Plea for Shoi't Commons. 
Michau on Ball-Practice. 

On Sore Throat and the Migration of the Swallow. By T. Aber- 
nethy. 

Scott and Lot. By the Author of " Waverley." 
Debrett on Chain Piers. 
Voltaire, Volney, Volta. 3 Vols. 
Feel on Bell's System. 

Grose's Slang Dictionary; or Vocabulary of Grose Language. 
Freeling on Enclosing Waste Lands. 

Elegy on a Black-Cock, shot amongst the Moors. By W. Wilber- 
foi'ce. 

Johnson's Contradictionary. 

Sir T. Lawrence on the Complexion of Fairies and Brownies. 
Life of Jack Ketch, with Cuts of his own Execution. 
Barrow on the Common Weal. 



32 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



Hoyle's Quadrupedia ; or Rules of All-Fours. 

Campaigns of the Bi'itish Ai-m: By one of the German Leg. 

Cursory Remarks on Swearing. 

On the Collar of the Garter. By Miss Bailey of Halifox. 

Shelley's Conchologist. 

Recollections of Bannister. By Lord Stair. 

The Hole Duty of Man. By I. P. Bi-unel. 

Ude's Tables of Interest. 

Chantrey on the Sculpture of the Chipaway Indians. 
The Scottish Boccaccio. By D. Cameron. 
Cook's Specimens of the Sandwich Tongue. 
In-i-go on Secret Entrances. 
Hoyle on the Game Laws. 
LIdmoires de La-porte. 

Lake House, Dec. 22, 1832. 

My Lord Duke, 
I am extremely obliged to Your Grace for the kind 
and early answer to my request concerning Lady Gran- 
ville. With my best thanks I have the honour of pre- 
senting a copy of my " Annual," and sincerely hope to 
have the same pleasure for many years to come. 

The enclosed titles were for a long time " titles extinct," 
— being lost with other papers in my removal hither : or, 
as Othello says, thro' "moving accidents by flood and 
field." Some memoranda subsequently turned up, but I 
feared too late for use ; and besides I could not disentan- 
gle the new from the old. 

This has been matter of regret to me, but I have made 
up my mind to send them to Your Grace on the chance 
of their becoming of use, and that some secret door may 
yet open to them, like those in the old romances. 
I have the honour to be. 

My Lord Duke, 
Your Grace's obliged servant, 

Thos. Hood. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



33 



His Grace acknowledged the receipt of the titles in 
the following letter : 

Chatswokth. 

Sir, 

I am more obliged to you than I can say for my titles. 
They are exactly what I wanted, and invented in that 
remarkable vein of humour, which has in your works 
caused me and many of my friends so much amusement 
and satisfaction. 

I shall anxiously await the promised additions — but I 
hope that on my return to London you will allow me an 
opportunity of thanking you in person. There is hardly 
any day on which you would not find me at home at 
twelve o'clock, and after the 13th of this month I shall 
be settled in London. 

I have the honour to be, Sir, 

Most truly and sincerely yours, 

Devonshire. 

This letter, it will be remarked, was in acknowledg- 
ment of the first set of titles. After this many commu- 
nications passed between His Grace and my father. Until 
the time of my father's death (I might add even after 
that time, when I think of his generous subscription to 
the Monumental Fund) the Duke's acts of considerate 
kindness never varied or failed. Among other little 
minor courtesies I find, among my father's papers, ad- 
missions to Chatsworth, and to the Private Apartments 
at Windsor. The " Comic Annual of 1831 was dedicated 
to His Grace, and that of 1832 to Lady Granville, by a 
permission hinted at in the letter of Dec. 22nd. But 

2* C 



34 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



His Grace's kindnesses were not always minor ones. As- 
sistance of great service was rendered by liim to my 
father in the shape of a volunteered friendly loan, the 
benefit of which will be seen in the ensuing letter : 

Lake House, August, 1833 

My Loud Duke, 

It will doubtless appear to Your Grace that one re- 
quest brings on a second, as certainly as one Scotchman is 
said to introduce another, when I entreat for my new 
novel of " Tylney Hall " the same honour that was for- 
merly conferred on the " Comic Annual." 

If a reason be sought why I desire to address a second 
dedication to the same personage, I can only refer to the 
" on revient toujours " principle of the French song ; 
and no one could have better cause so to try back than 
myself. 

I hesitate to intrude with details, but I know the good- 
ness which originated one obligation will be gratified to 
learn that the assistance referred to has been, and is, of 
the greatest service in a temporary struggle — though 
arduous enough to one of a profession never overbur- 
thened with wealth, from Homer downwards. Indeed 
the Nine Muses seem all to have lived in one house for 
cheapness. I await, hopefully anxious, Your Grace's 
pleasure as to the new honour I solicit, fully prepared, in 
case of acquiescence, to exclaim with the Tinker to the 
" Good Duke " of Burgundy, in the old ballad, 

" Well, I thank yotn- good Grace, 
And your love I embrace, 
I was never before in so happy a case ! " 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



35 



"With my humble but fervent wishes for the heaUh and 
happiness of Your Grace, and one not so favourable to 
the long life of the grouse, I have the honour to be, 
Mj Lord Duke, 
Your Grace's most obliged and devoted servant, 

Thos. Hood. 

Between 1831-2 my father had some connection with 
the stage in the form of dramatic composition. It was 
probably at this time he made the acquaintance of T. P. 
Cooke, and, I think, Dibdin. 

He wrote the libretto for a little English Opera, that 
was brought out, I believe, at the Surrey. Its name is 
lost now, although it had a good run at the time. Per- 
haps it may be recognised by some old play-goer by the 
fact that its dramatis personce were all hees. My father 
also assisted my uncle Reynolds in the dramatising of 
Gil Bias, which, if my impression be right, was produced 
at Drury Lane. One scene was very cleverly managed, 
considering that stage machinery (which now-a-days is 
almost engineering) was then in its infancy. It was a 
scene divided into two, horizontally, displaying at once 
the robber's cave, and the country beneath which it was 
excavated. 

It is much to be regretted that we have been unable 
to discover any traces of an entertainment which was 
written, somewhere about this time, by my father for the 
well-known inimitable Charles Matthews the Elder, who 
was heard by a friend most characteristically to remark, 
that he liked the entertainment very much, and Mr. 
Hood too, — but that all the time he was reading it, Mrs. 



36 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



Hood would keep snuffing the candles. This little fidg- 
etty observation very much shocked my mother, and of 
course delighted my father. 

He also wrote a pantomime for Mr. Frederick Yates, 
of the old Adelphi Theatre, and on that occasion received 
the following quaint epistle, the writer being Mr. Yates's 
factotum, and moreover machinist of all those wonderful 
Adelphi pieces that made that tiny theatre famous, and 
delighted the play-going pubhc of those days. Mr. Wil- 
liam Godbee was also, I think, the contriver and invent- 
or of Matthews' transformation dresses, for his entertain- 
ments, and especially famous for manufacturing queer 
wigs and head-dresses for him. He was a clever man, 
but a great oddity, as the following letter will show. 

Theatre Royal, Adelphi, Juhj 24, 1832. 

Mr. Godbee's Respectfull Compliments to Mr. Hood, 
and he begs leave to state that he have Received a Let- 
ter this morning from Mr. Yates, who is in Glasgow, and 
he begs of him to go Immediately to Mr. Reynolds of 
Golden Square, to beg of him to Intreat of Mr. Hood to 
Favour him with a Coppy of his Pantomime of Harle- 
quin and Mr. Jenkins, for Mr. Yates by some unfortunate 
circumstance have lost it, and the Dresses and Scenery 
are of no use to him unless he had the M.S. of The Pan- 
tomime. Therefore if Mr. Hood have it by him, and 
would Send it Enclosed in a Parcel to the Stage Door of 
the Adelphi Theatre, he would be conferring an Ever- 
lasting Favour on him. Honored Sir, if you should not 
be so fortunate as to have it by you. Pray Oblidge me 
with an answer by Post, as I dare not Send his Scenery 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



37 



and Dresses without the M.S. to Glasgow. I trust your 
Goodness of hert will Pardon me in thus troubling you. 
Permit me to Remain 

Your Humble Servant, 

William Godbee. 

P. S. Dear Sir, I shal wait with all anxiety as I can't 
write nor send to Mr. Yates until I hear from you. 

Whether poor Mr. Godbee's anxiety was set at rest, 
and the Pantomime found, is not now to be ascertained, 
but it is to be hoped it was. 

Of all my father's attempts at dramatic writing I can 
find no trace, save one little song intended for a musical 
piece, which was written to the air "My mother bids 
me bind my hair " : 



My mother bids me spend my smiles 
On all who come and call me fair, 

As crumbs are thrown upon the tiles, 
To all the sparrows of the air. 

But I 've a darling of my own, 

For whom I hoard my little stock — 

What if I chirp him all alone, 
And leave mamma to feed the flock ! 

The " Comic Annual" of 1832 was dedicated by per- 
mission to King William the Fourth, who received the 
dedication and a copy of the work very graciously, and 
eventually expressed a desire to see my father. He 



38 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



accordingly called upon His Majesty by appointment at 
Brighton. My father was much taken with His Majes- 
ty's cordial and hearty manner, and I believe he was 
very well received. One thing I remember is the fact, 
that, on backing out of the royal presence, my father 
forgot the way he had entered, and retrograded to the 
wrong entry. The king good-humouredly laughed, and 
himself showed him the right direction, going with him 
to the door. 

In 1832 * he left Winchmore Hill, owing to some dis- 
agreement with his landlord, who declined to make some 
necessary alterations ; it was much to be regretted, and 
he always spoke of it afterwards in that light. He was j 
induced to take a house in Essex,t — Lake House, Wan- 
stead. He was overpersuaded to do so by some not very 
judicious friends, and he ever afterwards repented it. It 
was, however, a beautiful old place, although exceedingly 
inconvenient, for there was not a good bed-room in it. 
The fact was, it had formerly been a sort of banqueting- 
hall to Wanstead Park, and the rest of the house was 
sacrificed to the one great room, which extended all 
along the back. It had a beautiful chimney-piece carved 
in fruit and flowers by Gibbons, and the ceiling bore 
traces of painting. Several quaint Watteau-like pictures 

* It will be seen by reference to the letters to the Duke of Devon- 
shu-e, that this removal took place toward the end of the year — prob- 
ably in October. — T. H. 

t The house Avas the banqueting hall of the. splendid mansion that 
used to stand in Wanstead Park. Between them spread a large lake, 
so that the festive parties came by watei*. This has now dwindled to 
a couple of ponds, connected by a ditch, but it was doubtless from it 
that the house took its name. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



39 



of the Seasons were panelled hi the walls, but it was all 
in a shocking state of repair, and in the twilight the rats 
used to come and peep out of the holes in the wainscot. 
There were two or three windows on each side, while a 
door in the middle opened on a flight of steps leading 
into a pleasant wilderness of a garden, infested by hun- 
dreds of rabbits from the warren close by. From the 
windows you could catch lovely glimpses of forest 
scenery, especially one little aspen avenue. In the midst 
of the garden lay the little lake from which the house 
took its name, surrounded by huge masses of rhododen- 
drons. 

In the early part of his residence at Wanstead, my 
father's boyish spirit of fun broke out as usual. On one 
occasion some boys were caught by him in the act of 
robbing an orchard ; with the assistance of the gardener, 
they were dragged trembling into the house. My moth- 
er's father happened to be staying there, an imposing- 
looking old gentleman, who had not forgotten his scholas- 
tic dignity when looking on anything in the shape of a 
boy. A hint to him sufficed, and he assumed an arm- 
chair and the character of a J. P. for the county. The 
frightened offenders were drawn up before him, and for- 
mally charged by my father with the theft, which was 
further proved by the contents of their pockets. The 
judge, assuming a severe air, immediately sentenced 
them to instant execution by hanging on the cherry tree. 
I can recollect being prompted by my father to kneel 
down and intercede for the culprits, and my frightened 
crying and the solemn farce of the whole scene had its 
due effect on the offenders. Down on their knees they 



40 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



dropped in a row, sobbing and whining most piteously, 
and vowing never " to do so no more." My father, 
thinking them sufficiently punished, gave the hint, and 
they were as solemnly pardoned, my father and grand- 
father laughing heartily to see the celerity with which 
they made oflf. 

On another occasion two or three friends came down 
for a day's shooting, and, as they often did, in the even- 
ing they rowed out into the middle of the little lake in 
an old punt. They were full of spirits, and had played 
off one or two practical jokes on their host, till on getting 
out of the boat, leaving him last, one of them gave it a 
push, and out went my father into the water. Fortu- 
nately it was the landing-place, and the water was not 
deep, but he was wet through. It was playing with 
edged tools to venture on such tricks with him, and he 
quietly determined to turn the tables. Accordingly he 
presently began to complain of cramps and stitches, and 
at last went in-doors. His friends getting rather ashamed 
of their rough fun, persuaded him to go to bed, which he 
immediately did. His groans and complaints increased 
so alarmingly, that they were almost at their wits' ends 
what to do. My mother had received a quiet hint, and 
was therefore not alarmed, though much amused at the 
terrified efforts and prescriptions of the repentant jokers. 
There was no doctor to be had for miles, and all sorts of 
queer remedies were suggested and administered, my 
father shaking with laughing, while they supposed he 
had got ague or fever. One rushed up with a tea-kettle 
of boiling water hanging on his arm, another tottered 
under a tin bath, and a third brought the mustard. My 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



41 



father at length, as well as he could speak, gave out in a 
sepulchral voice that he was sure he was dying, and de- 
tailed some most absurd directions for his will, which 
they were all too frightened to see the fun of. At last 
he could stand it no longer, and after hearing the peni- 
tent offenders beg him to forgive them for their unfortu- 
nate joke, and beseech him to believe in their remorse, 
he burst into a perfect shout of laughing, which they 
thought at first was delirious frenzy, but which ultimately 
betrayed the joke. 

Nor was I,* though a mere child, more exempt than 
my mother from a few innocent pranks. I had a favour- 
ite but very ugly wooden doll, combining all the usual 
features of the race, a triangular nose, button mouth, and 
inverted eyes. This lovely creature I left by some 
chance in the dangerous precincts of my father's study. 
"What was my horror and amazement next morning to 
find her comely visage thickly studded with bright pink 
spots ! For some hours I dared not go near her, as she 
lay extended on the table, being fii-mly persuaded she 
had the measles, then very prevalent in the neighbour- 
hood. My father was, of course, the author of the mis- 
chief, and perceived the success of his plan with infinite 
amusement. My fears, however, were not allayed till 
poor dolly underwent a thorough ablution, under which 

* 5Ty sister was often the subject of such jokes. I myself was too 
young for any more advanced pleasantry than a " booby-trap " of light 
pamphlets, carefully disposed on the top of the study door, but I was 
often spectator of little plots laid for my sister, such as a pinch of 
damp gunpowder plastered round the wick of a candle, which she 
would light in order to fetch some book, or go on some pretended 
exTand. — T. H. 



42 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



purification her few remaining charms vanished for 
ever. 

Though living at Wanstead, my father and mother 
still visited the sea-side at intervals ; indeed, my father 
seemed always to yearn with a vague longing for the 
ocean, "his old love" — just as dwellers in towns long 
for green fields. In 1833 he wrote the following letter 
to Wright from Ramsgate. 

Ramsgate, May 26, Wind E. N. E., Weather moder- 
ate. Remain in the harbour the Isis, Snow, Rose, Pink, 
Daisy, cutters ; Boyle, steamer ; John Ketch, powerful 
lugger. 

In the Roads, the Mc Adam, with Purbeck stone. 
The Jane (Mrs. Hood) on putting out to sea, was quite 
upset, and obliged to discharge. 

My dear Wright, 
It was like your lubberly taste to prefer the Epsom 
Salts to the Ocean Brine, but I am glad to hear you do 
mean after all to trust your precious body, as you have 
sometimes committed your voice, to the " deep, deep sea." 
Should its power overwhelm you, it will only be a new 
illustration of the saying that "might overcomes (W) 
right." 

(Jack enters to say the wind and tide serve, so am 
after a sail, which I hope, with respect to myself, will 
prove a " sail of effects.") 

(3 p . M. Re-enter the Ann (a young lady friend of 
Hood's) with T. H., his face well washed, his coat drip- 
ping, collar like two wet dog's ears, and his old hat as 



MEMOEIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



43 



glossy as a new "'un." He eats a biscuit as soft as 
sopped granite, a dram of whiskey, and then resumes the 
pen.) 



'^'es are ^®^> little 



Although they are prose, I defy a poet to write better 
descriptive lines of the sea than the four last. 

The Derby seems to have been highly creditable to 
Glaucus and the rest of the favourites. Outsiders (and 
sea-siders) for ever ! 

There come over here boats from France laden with 
boxes of white things, of an oval shape, the size of eggs ; 
I rather think they are eggs, and I was much amused 
with an energetic question which one of our local marines 
put to one of the French ones, — " Where do you get 
all your eggs? "as if they had some way of making 
them by machinery. For certain the quantity is great, 
and the French hens must lay longer odds than mine. 
Please to copy the following verbatim, and send it to 
Dilke per post : — 

Pencilled annotation on Prince Puckler Muskau, from 
Sackett's Library, Ramsgate, p. 212, vol. i. 

" What a lie, you frog-eating rascal ! What do you 
mean by telling such a twister ? " 

The weather is so fine, you will be a great Pump if 
you do not come here sooner than you propose. 



44 



]\IEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



When you talk of the middle of the week, you may 
as well embrace the waist of the week, and come down 
here at once by Tuesday's Margate steamer. Every 
hour will do you good, so don't stick Thursday obstinate- 
ly on your back, like an ass ridden by Day. Seriously, 
I shall look for you, and my doctor says all disappoint- 
ments will throw me back. INIind while you are on 
board, have a crust and Cheshire and bottled porter for a 
lunch. The last is capital ! No entire can match that 
which hath been ripened and mellowed by voyaging. 
Even Ann Porter (the young lady referred to before) is 
improved by crossing the Channel. Don't forget the 
pig-tail, — that is the porter. And sit not with your 
back to the bulwark, on account of the tremor of the 
engine. The sound is as of a perpetual gallopade per- 
formed by sea horses. Just go to the chimney and listen. 
There was no illness whatever when I came down, — 
at least human sickness The only symptom I saw was 
the heaving of the lead. 

^ ^ ^ ^ 

I remain, dear Wright, yours distantly, 

Thos. Hood, R. N. 

P. S. Wind has veered half a point. Forgot to say 
we forgot my birthday on the 23rd, so are keeping it to- 
day ex post facto, but not completely as usual, for I had 
no artillery to discharge at one o'clock. 

While residing at Lake House, my father wrote his 
only completed novel, " Tylney Hall," much of the 
scenery and description being taken from Wanstead 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



45 



and its neighbourhood. This was dedicated to the Duke 
of Devonshire. Here also was written a little volume 
containing a poem called the " Epping Hunt," with illus- 
trations by Cruikshank. The frontispiece was an admira- 
ble likeness of an old gentleman who lived near us, a 
Mr. Rounding. He was one of the few surviving repre- 
sentatives of the genuine old fox-hunting squires of other 
days, living in hospitable style in a large old house, and 
keeping his pack of hounds. He was, I believe, the 
manager of those Cockney Olympian revels, the Epping 
Hunts, which, however, at that time were many shades 
better than they are now. 




46 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



CHAPTER II. 



1835. 



He is involved in Difficulties by the Failure of a Firm. — Birth of only- 
Son. — Illness of Mrs. Hood. — Acquaintance with Dr. Elliot. — Goes 
to Germany. — Nearly lost in the " Lord Melville." — At Rotterdam. 

— Letters to his Wife. — Joined by her and the Children at Coblenz. 

— Letter from Mrs. Hood to JMrs. Elliot. — Acquaintance with Lieu- 
tenant De Franck. — Letters to Mr. and Mrs. Dilke, Mr. Wright, and 
Lieutenant De Franck. 



r\ father suffered, in common with many others, very- 
heavy loss, and consequently became involved in pecuni- 
ary difficulties. " For some months he strove with his 
embarrassments, but the first heavy sea being followed up 
by other adversities, all hope of righting the vessel was 
abandoned. In this extremity had he listened to the 
majority of his advisers, he would at once have absolved 
himself of his obligations by one or other of those sharp 
but sure remedies, which the legislature has provided for 
all such evils. But a sense of honour forbade such a 
course, and emulating the illustrious example of Sir 
Walter Scott, he determined to try whether he could not 
score off his debts as effectually and more creditably, 
with his pen, than with the legal whitewash or a wet 
sponge. He had aforetime realised in one year a sum 




failure of a firm my 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



47 



equal to the amount in arrear, and there was consequent- 
ly fair reason to expect that by redoubled diligence, 
economising, and escaping costs at law, he would soon be 
able to retrieve his affairs. With these views, leaving 
every shilling behind him, derived from the sale of his 
effects, the means he carried with him being an advance 
upon his future labours, he voluntarily expatriated him- 
self, and bade his native land good night." 

This is extracted from a letter of his own in which he 
describes the whole course of his affairs. 

To put the crowning stroke on all his sorrows and 
anxieties, my mother was taken most dangerously ill 
after the birth of their only son (Jan. 19, 1835), and for 
some time her life was despaired of Then was first laid 
the foundation of that friendship with Dr. and Mrs. Elliot 
of Stratford, which only terminated with my father's life. 
Under God's permission, and thanks to the skill and care 
of their kind friend and physician, my mother was once 
more restored to comparative health. My father only 
waited to see her partially recovered, and then pursuing 
his plan he started for Rotterdam in the "Lord Mel- 
ville," proposing to look out for some pleasant and suit- 
able town on the Ehine where he could settle. My 
mother was to follow with her children as soon as she 
was able to bear the fatigue of travelling. At that time 
such a journey was no light undertaking ; in fact, it re- 
quired almost as much care and forethought as people 
think necessary in these days to exert on going to Egypt. 
My father's voyage was a disastrous one, for the fearful 
and memorable storm of the 4th and 5th of March, 1835, 
came on ; when eleven vessels, including a Dutch India- 



48 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



man, were lost off the coast of Holland. To the mental 
and bodily exhaustion which attended this danger my 
father attributed much of his subsequent sufferings. 

He finally fixed on Coblenz as the suitable place 
for a residence, and from thence he wrote the following 
letter to my mother. I have inserted it as a proof 
of his tender and w^atchful care of her, and the affection 
that considered even trifles worthy of attention when 
conducing to her comfort. 

Somewhere about this time, perhaps a little while 
previous to his departure, the following sonnet was 
written to my mother. 

SONNET. 

Think, sweetest, if my lids are now not wet, 
The tenderest tears lie ready at the brim, 
To see thine own dear eyes — so pale and dim — 

Touching my soul with full and fond regret. 

For on thy ease my heart's whole care is set ; 
Seeing I love thee in no passionate whim, 
"Whose summer dates but with the rose's trim, 

Which one hot June can perish and beget, — 

Ah no, I chose thee for affection's pet, 

For unworn love, and constant cherishing — 

To smile but to thy smile — or else to fret 
When thou art fi-etted — rather than to sing 

Elsewhere, — alas ! I ought to soothe and kiss 

Thy dear pale cheek, while I assure thee this ! 

T Hood. 

CoBLEXZ, March 13ft. 
At last, my own dearest and best, I sit down to w^ite 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



49 



to you, and I fear you have been looking anxiously 
for news frona me. 

In truth, I wrote a long letter at Nimeguen which 
I suppressed, having nothing certain to say. I will 
now tell you first that I am safe and well — which is 
the very truth — and then I may relate how I got on. 
I had a dreadful passage to Rotterdam : Wednesday 
night was an awful storm, and Thursday morning was 
worse. I was seasick and frightened at sea for the 
first time : so you will suppose it was no trifle : in fact, 
it was unusually severe. I went up at midnight and 
found four men at the helm, hint enough for me, so 
I went down again, and in the morning a terrific sea 
tore the whole four from the helm, threw the captain 
as far as the funnel (twenty paces), and the three men 
after him. Had it not come direct aft, it would have 
swept them into the sea, boat, skylights, and everything 
in short, and have left us a complete wreck. Eleven 
others miscarried that same night, near at hand, so 
you may thank the cherub I told you of: but such 
a storm has seldom been known. It was quite a squeak 
for the Comic for 1836. But when you come the weath- 
er will be settled, and such a sea comes but once in 
seven years. "When you see four at the helm you may 
be frightened, but mind, not till then. Steam, I think, 
saved us ; you ought to offer up a golden kettle some- 
where. You were given over and I was given under — 
but we have both been saved, I trust, for each other, 
and Heaven does not mean to part us yet. But it made 
me very ill, for it was like being shaken up in a dice 
box, and I have had a sort of bilious fever, with some- 

3 D 



50 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



thing of the complaint ElHot cured me of, and could not 
eat, with pains in my side, &:c., which I nursed myself 
for as well as I could. 

I made two acquaintances on board — one gave me an 
introduction to a doctor at Coblenz, whom I have not 
seen ; the other gave me an introduction to his father 
here, w'here I took tea to-night ; their name is Vertue, so 
you see my morals are in good hands. 

I got to Rotterdam only on Thursday night, and I sup- 
ped there very merrily with the young Vertue and two 
of his friends. 

On Friday night I stopped at Niraeguen, which is in a 
state of war, and could proceed no further till Saturday, 
which night I passed aboard, and on Sunday arrived and 
slept in Cologne.* Here I was detained on Monday by 

* I have inserted here some lines from " Up the Rhine," which were 
written to my mother from this place. — T. H. 

The old Catholic city was still, 

In the Minster the vespers were sung; 
And, re-echoed in cadences shrill, 

The last call of the trumpet had nino:; 
While across the broad stream of the Rhine 

The full moon cast a silvery zone ; 
And methought, as I gazed on the shine — 

" Surely that is the Eau de Cologne! " 

I inquired not the place of its source, 

If it ran to the east or the west ; 
But my heart took a note of its course — 

That it flowed toward Her I love best : — 
That it flowed toward Her I love best. 

Like those wandering thoughts of my own ; 
And the fancy such sweetness possessed 

That the Rhine seemed all Eau de Cologne J 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



51 



the steamer having broken a paddle, but made myself 
agreeable to an old general, Sir Parker Carrol, who took 
me with him to see the lions. I gave him a bulletin to 
carry to Dilke. Strange to say, the general once lived 
at their house. Also made acquaintance with a Rev. 
Mr. Clarke, a gentlemanly young man, and we started 
on Tuesday for Coblenz, where we slept ; again on 
Wednesday to Mayence, slept there, and to-day he set 
oif for Frankfort, and I returned here. At all these 
starts I have had to rise at five, and was too worn out 
and weak to undertake the walking plan I had concerted 
with Dilke, so I went up and down by the boat instead. 
Luckily, I got better on Tuesday, and that day and 
"Wednesday and to-day being fine, I enjoyed it very 
much. From Cologne to Mayence is all beautiful or 
magnificent ; I am sure you will enjoy it, especially if, as 
I will try, I meet you at Cologne. 

I want you to see the cathedral. I am going to- 
morrow on foot to look among the villages ; but my im- 
pression is, from what Mr. Vertue says, there will be 
some difficulty in finding anything there ; but at all 
events there are lodgings to be had in Coblenz, which is 
a place I admire much. I therefore think you. might 
start for Coblenz at once, without hearing further from 
me, when you feel able, letting me know, of course, your 
day of saihng, for in case of my getting anything at 
Bingen, &c., you would have to stop here, and unless I 
meet with something to my taste above, I shall make this 
our fixture. 

Consult Dilke. For my part, if well enough, I tliink 
you may safely come on the chance, as it would take you 



52 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



five days : one to Rotterdam, one to Kimeguen, two to 
Cologne, and one to Coblenz. I am writing but a busi- 
ness letter, and you must give me credit, my own dearest, 
for everything else, as I wish to devote all the space I 
can to describing what will be for your comfort.* You 
must come to Rotterdam by " Der Batavier," which has 
female accommodations and a stewardess. You may tell 
the steward I was nearly swamped with him in the 
" Lord Melville," for he was with us, and will remember 
* * * * You must expect some nuisances and 
inconveniences, but they will do to laugh at when we 
meet, and "Der Batavier" is a splendid and powerful 
steamer. * * * * With my dear ones by my side, 
my pen will gambol through the Comic like the monkey 
who had seen the world. We are not transported even 
for seven years, and the Rhine is a deal better than Swan 
River. I have made a great many notes. My mind 
was never so free — and meaning what is right and just 
to all, I feel cheerful at our prospects, and in spite of ill- 
ness have kept up. This will not reach you for four or 
five days, and then it would take you as much more to 
come, during which I should be sure to get a place, so do 
not wait to hear from me again. * * * You may 
reckon, I think, upon settling at Coblenz : it is a capital 
and clean town, and does justice to Dilke's recommenda- 
tion. I have already begun some " Rhymes of the 
Rhine," of which the first is justly dedicated to your own 
self But to-night is my first leisure. I have been like 
the Wandering Jew. How my thoughts and wishes fly 

* At the foot of the letter he added a Hst of foneiic French words 
that my mother would require during the journey. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



53 



over the vine-covered hills to meet yours ; my love sets 
towards you like the mighty current of the great Rhine 
itself, and will brook no impediments. 

I grudge the common-place I have been obliged to 
write ; every sentence should claim you, as my own dear 
wife, the pride of my youth, the joy of my manhood, the 
hope of all my after days. Twice has the shadow of 
death come beween us, but our hearts are preserved to 
throb against each other. I am content for your sake to 
wait the good time when you may safely undertake the 
voyage, and do not let your heart run away with your 
head. Be strong before you attempt it. Bring out with 
you a copy of "Tylney Hall," which I shall want to 
refer to. I want no others, but the last Comic. If you 
are likely to be some time, treat me with one letter. 
Dilke will tell you how to send it. I long to be settled 
and at work ; I owe him much, and wish to do C. Lamb 
while it is fresh. I hope Reynolds's spasms are gone. 
They could not do better than come up the Rhine this 
summer, it would not cost so much as Brighton — and 
such a change of scene. I have had some adventures I 
must tell you when we meet. I bought this paper all by 
telegraph of a girl at Cologne. We could not speak a 
word to each other, and the whole ended in a regular 
laugh throughout the shop, when she picked out of the 
money in my hand. Was not I in luck to meet the only * 

* The increased facilities of travelling have made John Bull as much 
at home on the Rhine as by the Thames. Those who know Germany 
as it is, will hardly recognise it in my father's true and graphic delin- 
eation of it as it was. A great deal of what he says here was repeat- 
ed in " Up the Rhine," but has still the charm of novelty to most, as 
that book is unhappily out of print. — T. H. 



54 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



two or three English that were out, and make such 
friends with them. But I really am getting a traveller, 
and am getting brass, and pushing my way with them. 1 
forgot to say at Coblenz the men frequent the Casinos, 
and the women make evening parties of their own, but I 
do not mean to give up my old domestic habits. We 
shall set an example of fireside felicity, if that can be 
said of a stove, for we have no grates here — the more 's 
the pity. God bless you ever. 

Your own, 

T. H. 

Coblenz (at the Widow Seil's), 872, Castor Hof. 

My own dearest and best Love, 
The pen I write with — the ink it holds — the paper 
it scrawls upon — the wax that will seal it — were all 
bought by me a la telegraph — except that I had the as- 
surance (impudence and ignorance go together) to look a 
pretty young German lady in the face and ask her for 
the use of her lips, not to kiss, but to translate for me, 
but she couldn't. The purport of this is to tell you what 
I think will give you ease and comfort — that 1 am fixed 
here in a snug, cheap, airy lodging — thanks to the kind- 
ness of the Vertues, who have taken great trouble for me. 
Lodgings furnished are scarcely to be had here at all, 
and when the Vertues came they had to stay at an inn 
seven weeks. They say, and I feel, I am fortunate. 
There are three little rooms, one backward, my study aa 
is to be, with such a lovely view over the Moselle. My 
heart jumped when I saw it, and I thought, " There I 
shall write volumes!" My opposite neighbour is the 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



55 



Commandant, so it 's a genteel neighbourhood. To-day 
I visited the Church of St. Castor, who is to be our pa- 
tron Saint (vide address), and I saw a bit of his bone. 
Seriously it is quite a snuggery, where I should want but 
you and my dear boy and girl to be very happy and very 
loving. I went up a mountain opposite yesterday even- 
ing, commanding a magnificent expanse of view, but the 
thought would come that you were not in all that vast 
horizon. But it is splendid, and I 'm sure it is what you 
would enjoy. The Vertues have been very kind. I 
have just taken tea with them, and they will call to-mor- 
row to see me set in. Widow Seil is a woman of prop- 
erty, and always aboard her own barges, travelling up 
and down the Rhine, and her daughter is here keeping 
house. She seemed wonder-struck this morning, and so 
was I, to reflect how we are to get on, for she knows 
nothing but German ; but to-night I have delighted her 
by telling her in German (which I have poked out) to 
send to the hotel for my bag and cloak. She said over 
and over again " das is gude." I hope we shan't end in 
Eloisa and Abelard. In the fulness of her approbation 
the maid fairly gave me a slap on the back. You must 
know servants here are great familiars. The waiters at 
the inns are hail-fellows with the guests, and in truth but 
for them I must have foregone discourse, for they gener- 
ally speak French. I find my French reviving very 
fiist, and so I get on well enough. 

I dine at a table d'hote, and sleep here and breakfast, 
then coffee at the inn, and no supper. You can have 
your dinner sent in here, I mean for us all, very reason- 
able and without trouble ; and on the first of May I can 



56 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



have Vertue's servant, for they are going to England. 
She understands English wants, and has a high charac- 
ter, so I think I have provided for you tolerably well. 

Tell Dilke I am highly pleased with Coblenz, and quite 
confirm his choice — it is by far the best thing I have 
seen. 

I do hope you will soon be able to come, and in the 
meantime I will do everything I can think of to facilitate 
your progress. * * * I should like a set of Comics for 
Vertue ; and bring with you the bound up Athenceums, 
and your own bound books. Get the steward of the 
"Batavier" to see you ashore at Rotterdam, to the Hotel 
des Pays Bas, and in case of any difficulty about cus- 
toms, which is very unlikely, send from the Hotel for Mr. 
Vertue, jun., there. The En-glish ladies will explain for 
you, and he will lend his help, I feel sure. Let me know 
exactly when you sail from London, and I will meet you 
at Cologne somehow. Tell Fanny she may see soldiers 
here, if she likes, all day long. They are always exer- 
cising ; it seems like — "A month he lived, and that was 
March!" 

If she behaves well on the voyage, and minds what 
you say, I will show her wonders here. To-day has 
been beautiful — quite warm — and the weather looks 
well set in for fine. My httle room has the reputation 
of being cool in summer. 

I saw a vision of you, dearest, to-day, and felt you 
leaning on me, and looking over the Moselle at the blue 
mountains and vineyards. I long but to get to work with 
you and the pigeon pair by my side, and then I shall not 
sigh for the past. Only cast aside sea fears, and you will 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



57 



find your voyage a pleasant one. Your longest spell will 
be from Nimeguen to Cologne, when you must pass a 
night on board, but then I shall meet you to take care of 
the pair, and you will have a good night's rest. Get 
yourselves strong, there is still a happy future ; fix your 
eyes forward on our meeting, my best and dearest. Our 
little home, though homely, will be happy for us, and we 
do not bid England a very long good night. Good night 
too, my dearest wife, my pride and comfort. 

" And from these mountains where I now respire, 
Fain would I waft such Blessing unto thee, 
As with a sigh I deem thou now might'st be to me." 

Sunday Morning. 

The hens do lay in Coblenz, they are cackling rarely 
under my window. I am located thus (here follows a 
sketch). Dilke will understand how good the look-out is, 
just at the junction of the Rhine and the Moselle ; it is 
almost the corner house of Coblenz. I am charged a 
trifle extra because I eat two rolls at breakfast, so you 
see I improve in my habits : the Germans eat great sup- 
pers and little breakfasts. * * * For the sake of 
every one I keep myself in fighting condition, and have 
brought myself to look forward with a firm and cheerful 
composure of mind that I hope you will share in. 

The less treasure I have elsewhere, the more I feel 
the value of those I have within my heart, and never 
could your dear presence be more delightful and blessed 
in its influence than it will be to me now. Our grapes, 
though sourish now, will ripen into sweetness by the end 

3* 



58 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 

of the year, and I shall work like the industrious Ger- 
mans, whom you will see labouring like ants on the face 
of their mountains. Tell the Reynoldses they could not 
do better than take a trip here in the summer, when it 
must be delightful. It cost me, illness included, but about 
£10 to get here, including Mayence, and I lost something 
by change in Holland. The Hotels, barring the first 
rates, professing to be English ones, are moderate and 
comfortable. My dear Fanny will enjoy herself here, 
there is so much bustle, barges, steamers, soldiering, and 
children like dwarf men and women. 

Tell her I expect she will take great care of you and 
her brother on the voyage, and not give you trouble. 
The first thing I shall ask, when I see you, will be if she 
has been good, and if so I will take her with you to see 
the cathedral at Cologne, which with its painted glass, 
&c., will be to her like fairy land. * * * * You 
must bring blocks enough with you for the whole Comic, 
or more than that will be better, as I may do the Ep- 
som or something else. Bring a good stock. * * * * 
Woodin would stare to see calves here, going to slaughter, 
seven days old, attended by dogs bigger than themselves. 

I hear that the Ostend steamers got well knocked 
about in our storm, and had some men washed over- 
board ; — my head still reels occasionally, and the stairs 
seem to rock, so you may judge what it was — the very 
worst for many years. The " Batavier " is an excellent 
boat ; have porter on board her, as you will get none 
after Rotterdam ; up the Rhine take Cognac and water, 
not the sour wine. Wrap yourself well up, and when 
the bustle of departure is over you may be very com- 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



59 



fortable, but up to Cologne there is little worth seeing, 
except the towns, such as Dusseldorf. From Cologne to 
Coblenz is superb, and I shall enjoy it with you ; but 
mind, be sure to come when you appoint, as I cannot 
stay long at Cologne. 

Write to me " Poste Restante h Coblenz," as I go to 
the post-office every day to inquire, like Monsieur Mallet. 
You would be quite in the fashion here with a silk bonnet, 
and one of those cloaks with a deep cape to the elbows 
of plain or figured silk, or stuff, such as I saw about the 
streets of London before I left. It is very quiet here, 
except when Mrs. Commandant gives a party opposite, 
when there are carriages. You get a glimpse of the 
Rhine in front — you must not expect carpets here, and 
you will have stoves instead of grates, these are univer- 
sal. By the bye Mrs. Dilke told me to have my linen 
well aired, I suspect it was only her ignorance, and that 
she had taken what is up in all the packets ^^Dampschiffe " 
for damp shirts. It signifies steamboats, — not an unnat- 
ural mistake. Bring me a set of Comics for my own 
use, your bound ones will do — Flanders brick of course 
— and my desk with all my papers in it. That box that 
was the tool chest, with handles, would be very useful 
for sending over all the Comic blocks in. * * * My 
young landlady has paid me a smiling visit this morning, 
and we have had a little conversation in German and 
English, which neither of us understood. St. Castor has 
just dismissed his congregation in various grotesque gaie- 
ties ; the most distinguished feature was a violet and pink 
shot-silk umbrella. I have also had a visit this morning 
from a strange young gentleman, but for want of the gift 



60 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



of tongues he took nothing by his motion. I am in fact 
a sort of new Irving, with the girl here for a proselyte ; 
she will hold forth, understood or not. Yesterday I gave 
two groschen to two little girls like Fanny, on the top of 
the mountain. They went apart, and after a consultation, 
one dispatched the other to present to me, I guess, an 
address of thanks, or to ask for more, I don't know 
which, but I think the former. I found on the same 
eminence a good honest fellow, very civil for nothing, and 
a good Christian no doubt, although like Satan he thence 
pointed out to me all the kingdoms of the earth. 

Whenever my eyes leave the paper they see the Mo- 
selle still gliding on, and my own verses* occur to me 
with a powerful application of them to you, and my chil- 
dren all beyond the bluest of the blue hills. I shall give 
you good measure, and shall cross this letter, though I do 
not pretend yet to write letters worth reading, for my 
head is still confused, and I am but just settled down. 
Otherwise I have made many notes and memorandums, 
which I need not write either to you, who will I hope see 
the things referred to. The Vertues have called, and 
kept me beyond my time. They have begged me to 
make their house my home, and are very obliging. To- 
day being Sunday we dined in state, with a band playing, 
and I indulged in a glass of wine in which I drank your 
health. I have just bought with much trouble an in- 
stantaneous light to seal this letter with. I am become 
quite a citizen of the world, I talk to every one in Eng- 
lish, broken French, and bad German, and have the 
vanity to think I make friends wherever I go. 

* " Still glides the gentle streamlet on." — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



61 



Tell Dilke this, it will please him. Say to John I 
shall write him a long letter as soon as 1 hear from 
London, and also to Dilke. I have seen to-day the whole 
troops on the parade, governors, demi-governors, &c. 
Their bands do not equal ours, some of our drums would 
heat them hollow, and they have no good horses. * * * 
May God have all those I love, or who love me, in His 
Holy keeping, is the prayer of the subscribed, 

Thomas Hood. 

In accordance with the arrangements laid down by my 
father, my mother, accompanied by my brother and my- 
self, went on board the " Batavier " on the 29th of March, 
1835, and were joined by my father at Cologne. From 
thence we proceeded to Coblenz. I have inserted the 
following letter from my mother, as it describes better 
than I could do their first settling in their new home. 
Her descriptions also of what she saw are so evidently 
influenced and aided by my father's observations, that 
they are almost as interesting as his own. 

372, Castor Hof, Coblenz, 12nd June, 1835. 
My dear Mrs. Elliot, 
* * * * J ^g^g fortunate in my voyage here in 
having fair weather, and also in having the ladies' cabin 
of the " Batavier " to myself, with the exception of a 
young lady about fifteen, who was coming to a Moravian 
School at one of the villages on the Rhine. The stew- 
ardess too was a very respectable woman, and very 
attentive. We got to Rotterdam about six on IMonday 
evening, and then some of my troubles began. We were 



62 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



to set off by the Rhine steamer at six the next morning, 
and I desired them to call me at five ; but the stupid 
chambermaid came and knocked at my door at twelve. 
I did not find out the mistake until I had with difficulty 
roused Fanny from her bed, and got her dressed. From 
being disturbed, when six came the poor child was so 
sick and ill, I was obliged to have her carried down to 
the steamboat. From Rotterdam to Cologne is very 
flat and uninteresting, and a very slow passage, as it is 
against the stream. We passed the night on board, 
which I should not have minded except for the children. 
I got some beds made up for them in the cabin, and 
thought they would be tolerably comfortable. But at 
nine we stopped and took on board a company of Prus- 
sian soldiers, with about twenty officers, who all came 
clattering into the cabin which was not very large, and 
the tables were spread for their suppers. After they had 
done eating, they played cards till three in the morning, 
when most of them were put ashore at Diisseldorf. We 
were to have arrived at Cologne at 12 o'clock, but to 
accommodate the Prussian officers, our steam was made 
to boil a gallop and we arrived at 10 a.m. So that I got 
to the Hotel du Rhin before Hood, who was kiUing time 
on the parade. AVhen he arrived I scarcely knew him, 
he looked so very ill. He made me stay a day here to 
refresh, which I very much needed ; for my poor baby 
suffered much for want of his usual comforts, and I felt 
the fatigue with the children very much. Our stay 
allowed us to see the curiosities of Cologne which are 
well worth seeing ; the Cathedral more especially : at 
the least so much as is finished of it, for it never will be 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 63 



completed unless the old days of Roman Catholic power 
and glory should return. The interior for lightness and 
elegance is perfectly exquisite. Hood says if the Loretto 
Angel had to carry away a Cathedral, he would choose 
that of Cologne. We saw all its wonders and relics, its 
golden shrine, inlaid with cameos and gems, and delicate 
mosaic ; though some of the jewels by a dishonest miracle 
are converted into coloured glass. We saw the crowns 
of the Three Wise Kings, and also some admirable sculp- 
tures in ivory. I must not forget to mention the painted 
windows, which are splendid, and the tapestries in the 
choir from the designs of Rubens, which are quite in the 
style of the Cartoons. There is also a curious picture, 
very old indeed, of the Three Kings adoring the Virgin 
and Child — in parts recalling RafFaelle to my mind. In 
the old church of St. Peter, where Rubens was baptized, 
we saw one of his masterpieces — the martyrdom of the 
patron saint — they make you stoop and look at it, with 
your head downwards (like the figure of the martyr) to 
show the expression of the face, which is truly marvel- 
lous. From the church — what a next step ! — we went 
to the masquerade room, which is of vast dimensions, 
supported by a range of pillars in the middle, in the 
shape of gigantic champagne glasses, out of which seem 
to issue a quantity of painted masquerade figures nearly 
covering the ceiling. The idea is better than the execu- 
tion. German wit and humour, Hood says, are like 
yeast dumplings a day old. 

Cologne itself is a rambling place full of crooked nar- 
row streets, where you may lose yourself without much 
trouble. When Hood was there by himself he says he 



64 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



never went out but he was obliged to get a boy to show 
him home again. I wish I could praise its atmosphere 
— but as Head says in the " Bubbles," the Eau de Co- 
logne seems to extract all pleasant perfume from its air. 
We started by steamer for Coblenz at seven on Saturday 
morning, and soon after, near Bonn, the fine scenery of 
the Rhine began to open with the towering Drachenfels 
and the seven mountains. The abrupt transition from 
flat uninteresting country to the mountainous and pictur- 
esque is striking and singular ; for from this point nearly 
to Mayence, it is on both sides of the river high and 
varied in its features. The villages are very quaint and 
pretty, and almost as numerous as mile-stones. As it 
was the planting season, we saw the industrious peas- 
antry working like ants among their vines on the face of 
the mountains ; so small and yet so distinct as to remind 
one of the elfins and gnomes of German romance. 

We arrived at Coblenz about six, and really the place 
justifies our friend's recommendation. The houses are 
good, the streets wide, airy, and clean, with here and 
there a bit of pavement in the English style, which I 
always found attracted my weary feet as if it had been 
a loadstone. The walking in Cologne was very rough, 
Hood calls it a stone storm, and says if a certain place is 
paved with good intentions, Cologne must have been 
paved with the bad ones. The very horses are compelled 
to wear high-heeled shoes to prevent slipping. 

* * * * 

As for Hood, he was in a wretched state of health, he 
had been sadly overdone before he left England, and the 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



65 



storm lie was out in completed the mischief, otherwise ho 
is fond of and used to the sea ; but they were very nearly 
lost, eleven other vessels were wrecked the same night, 
in the same storm, in or near the mouth of the Maes. 

Hood got worse day by day, but we could not prevail 
on him to have advice, though Mr. Vertue strongly rec- 
ommended Dr. B who had attended his family while 

they were here. At last we were compelled to call him 
in, for Hood was seized with most frightful spasms in the 
chest. I cannot express how wretched, and terrified I 
was, for he said himself it was like being struck with 
death. His countenance was sunk and his eyes too. He 

was seized first at night, and Dr. B remained with 

him for two hours, and then left him somewhat easier, 
but the pain lasted, at intervals, all night, and left him 
next day as weak as a child. After this he had many 
similar attacks, but slighter ones. I wanted faith in our 
physician, but of course did not say so ; their practice is 
so different to the English, they won't hear of calomel. 

However Dr. B certainly brought Hood round, and 

for the last fortnight he has got on rapidly, for which I 

cannot be too thankful. Dr. B recommends his 

going to Ems, for a little change, but he is too busy to 
spare time for it. 

We are now very comfortably settled, we have a little 
kitchen, about three yards square, and Gradle our ser- 
vant, with my superintendence, manages the cooking 
pretty well. I have actually been successful in a beef- 
steak pudding, and an Irish stew, and we have given up 
our " portions " and the table d'hote. Lodging and 
washing are dear here, the latter as much so as in Eng- 

E 



66 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



land, but food is cheap ; mutton 3 groschen a pound, 
about three pence halfpenny. Beef and veal the same, 
but the latter is wretched, so young and so small ; vege- 
tables and fruit very cheap. The cherries are abundant, 
there is a walk out of one of the gates that is nearly a 
mile long, I should think, with cherry-trees all the way 
on each side, loaded with fruit ; when in blossom it was 
a lovely sight. Grapes are of course very plentiful, and 
walnut-trees are planted everywhere : all the furniture is 
made of walnut wood, and very pretty it is. There is a 
walk here of rose-trees, the most beautiful you can im- 
agine. They are standards, the stems nearly two yards 
high, of every kind and variety, all loaded with bloom. 
There is a triple row of about two hundred yards, it is 
the prettiest sight I ever saw. Mr. Maiden would be 
dehghted with the cactus tribe here ; they are splendid, 
four or five feet high, rich with bloom : the Cereus too 
are equally fine, they train them up spirally, and the 
effect is better than when they fall over the pot. The 
flowers of some of the cacti are of a rich peculiar crim- 
son I have never seen before. The walks round Cob- 
lenz are so lovely that we have overdone ourselves, and 
have been obliged to stay at home for a day or two to 
recover. The moment you pass the gates of the town 
in any direction you are in a garden of Eden ; or- 
chards, cornfields, vineyards, villages, mountains crested 
with ruined castles, and through all flows the rapid, 
"arrowy Rhine," now almost of a sea-green colour — 
the blue Moselle runs into it just within view of the 
back of our house. Before I was well enough to walk 
much, Hood inveigled me up the twin height to Ehren- 
breitstein. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



67 



" Ah, who can tell how hard it is to climb ! " 
He would not allow me to look behind, and I could see 
nothing before me but a fresh ascent at every turn, so I 
panted up to the top like the asthma personified. But 
the panoramic view well repaid me, I cannot describe it, 
for I never saw anything like it before. You see across 
the Rhine down into Coblenz, which lies under you like 
a map. Round the city is a fertile plain, as diversified 
in colour as a patchwork quilt, bounded by the distant 
mountains ; you see snatches of the Moselle, and higher 
up the Rhine is divided by an island with what was a 
nunnery upon it. Only George Robins could describe 
all the other features, and for once he could not embel- 
lish. How I wish — to use a common expression — you 
could " enter into my views.'^ To pass from nature to 
art, Hood took me into the Jesuit's church here, predict- 
ing that I should be half converted to Catholicism, and 
so, between you and me, was the case, for the altar- 
piece, screen, pulpit, &c., with all the apostles and angels, 
and the figures, appear to be of fine Dresden china, 
which you know all ladies have a great affection for. 
Fanny too has a bias to Popery, I think, there are so 
many processions, and children with fiags, little girls in 
white with wreaths of white roses and valley lilies, and 
baskets of flowers. In short all she would enjoy at a 
London theatre with the advantage of freshness and the 
open air. Last Thursday was Corpus Christi day, and 
the host was carried in great state and pomp. They 
erected an altar over a public conduit at the end of our 
street, the said conduit having been prematurely erected 
by the French as a trophy of their coming triumph over 
the Russians. It is most laughingly inscribed. 



68 



MEMOEIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



" Memorable par la Campagne contre les Russes, sous la 
Prefecture de Jules Douzan. Anno 1812. 

" Vu et approuve par nous, Commandant Russe de la 
ville de Coblenz le ler Janvier, 1814." 

So mucli for the foreign department, and now for 
the Home ! You will be glad to hear the children 
have thriven recently to my heart's content. Fanny 
is very well and happy, my baby is a healthy little 
creature, and so " bronzy " * with brown and red, his 
Papa declares that at our first party he shall hold a 
wax-candle. He is as fat and hard as a German sau- 
sage, and so merry you would pick him out, as Dr. 
Kitchener recommends you to choose lobsters, namely, 
as " heavy and lively." N. B. Paternal vanity is an- 
swerable for the last sentence. 

^ ¥^ ^ ^ 

The coffee here is really a sort of evening brown 
stout. It is roasted, or as they say here "burned" at 
home ; and whatever be the cause, it is so different 
a beverage that Hood says he suspects with Accum 
that the English coffee is made from horse-beans. Tea 
is bad, and dear here. You may judge how good the 
coffee must be when I say that I do not regret it; 
besides the leaves are not in request here as there 
are no carpets. Hood says amongst the " Bridgewater 

* This is an allusion to two handsome bronze figures of children 
reading, mounted as candlesticks, which used to stand on the draw- 
ing-room mantel-piece, and were heir-looms familiar to all his friends, 
so that the joke was a domestic one. — T. H. 



MEMOEIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



69 



Treatises," they might have instanced this as a mani- 
festation of a Providence. 

I have heard of German cousins, but I am sure we 
are not relations, or we should be more upon speaking 
terms. 

" We are only on talking terms ivith the Butcher, an 
Anglo-Prussian officer, and the Doctor (all in the killing 
line), hut Hood manages to get on with a little had 
French, which, as he lived at Wanstead, he very prohahly 
picked up at ' Stratford atte Bow,' notorious, as Chaucer 
declares, for such a jargon. All our dinners are ordered 
per dictionary, hut we still get onions sometimes for tur- 
nips, and radishes for carrots. It sounds farcical, hut 
it's true, that I sent for a fowl for my dear invaluahle 
invalid (/ mean Hood), and the servant hrought hack 
two hundles of goose-quills I " 

I need not make any remark on the foregoing sentence 
which has been written in my absence, but I must con- 
firm the feathery fact. 

* * * * • 

My baby has been vaccinated here according to law, 
as we should have been fined for omitting it; though 
where the original cow-pock comes from is a mystery, as 
well as the milk, for you never see a cow but once on 
a time in a cart : and good reason why, as peas, beans, 
corn, and clover run all into one, without hedges or fence 
of any kind. 

It surprises me that we get sweet milk, the Germans 
have such a turn for everything sour. The wine is sour, 
they preserve plums in vinegar, the very spring water at 



70 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



Ehrenhreitstein is acid, and called Sour Water! How- 
ever, as a set-off, they picMe their walnuts with sugar and 
cloves. But the vinegar made of Hock or Moselle is su- 
perb, almost a wine of itself I am pickling some cucum- 
bers that I expect will be superlative. 

That is Hood's again, for my letter is written by 
snatches as "my occupation isn't gone" like Othello's, 
but come. Fortunately my baby is fond of Gradle, and 
will go to her, which relieves my fatigue. 

" I should have said, carries off a good deal of my Fat 
Teague ! " 

Hood again ! I will not quit this letter again till I 
have finished it, he has " interpret himself so." 

Our greatest present annoyance is, that if we poke out 
a short sentence of broken German, they give us such 
credit for our progress that they fancy we can return a 
whole volley of paragraphs. I regret very much that I 
cannot converse with one of our landlady's daughters, 
she has such a sweet voice, so pretty a face, that Hood 
is quite in love with her, but fortunately he can't declare 
himself. Female beauty, or even prettiness, is a rarity 
at Coblenz. A miller's daughter, a mile off is the para- 
gon. Hood calls her the " Flour ; " they say she is well 
educated too. I mean, if possible, to walk out and see 
her ; strange to say, she is still single. 

"Joe Miller says, because there are two dains to ask 
instead of one ! " 

We heard of her through a young English officer in 
the Prussian service here. He introduced himself to us, 
during our evening Avalk, being attracted by our King's 
English, and we were equally by his, as well as by his 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 71 



dog, which seemed home made ; for you must know the 
Coblenz dogs are remarkably ugly and naturally like 
foxes, but after the first warm summer day, they were 
all converted by clipping the hinder parts into mock 
lions. He seemed determined to know us. First he 
told Fanny, who was not at all timid, to have no fear of 
his dog, who was not at all ferocious. As that failed to 
lead to an introduction, he walked back after us, and in- 
troduced himself. In truth we were equally glad to give 
him change for his English, which he declared he had by 
him till it had become burdensome. He has since called : 
he has been fourteen years in the Prussian service, but 
his heart seems to yearn after England and his family ; 
his mother is an Englishwoman. He is a very nice, un- 
assuming young man ; as he is stationed at Ehrenbreit- 
stein he has offered some day to help us to scale that 
impregnable fortress. 

The English are beginning to come here now, last 
night's steamboat brought a number ; the general opinion 
is that they will not swarm here, as they have done. 
Head's " Bubbles " sent a great number, but having once 
been they do not come again. It is said, that for the last 
two years their coming raised the price of everything 
fifty per cent. A war would break half the hanks of 
the Rhine, — at least the magnificent hotels on them. 
Should you by any chance think of visiting the great river, 
we will send you all information — such as the professed 
guides do not condescend to give — for instance, if you 
wish for a clean face and hands, to carry a cake of soap, 
which you will not find in the best Inn's best bedrooms. 
* * * * 



72 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



While Hood was ill I felt very depressed and out of 
spirits, of course my own weak health rendered me but 
a poor nurse to him. I thought there was no end to my 
troubles, and felt as Rosalind says, " how full of briars is 
this work-a-day world." But I am now in much better 
spirits, and we get on better altogether. The comforts 
the English miss are not very portable, or they might 
bring them, out, for instance, — a four-post bed, a Rum- 
ford stove, a kitchen range, and a carpet. But use recon- 
ciles, we almost feel native, and " to the manner born," so 
don't pit}' us, for we don't pity ourselves. 

* * ♦ * 

Hood bids me describe a scene with ]Miss Seil, the 
landlady's daughter. I wanted some egg-cups, and in 
illustration I showed her the eggs, and she guessed so 
near that she snatched up a saucer and broke the egg 
into it, evidently wondering in her eg-otism that having 
eggs we did not know where to lav 'em. "VVhen I shook 
my head, she looked at me in despair, and seemed to say, 
' AYliat a pity that broken German and broken English 
should break good eggs ! ' Talking of eggs, you find 
them in the market of the gayest colours ; and Hood 
says, ' Twigg would wonder what coloured hens they 
are that lay them.' I took the purple ones for egg- 
])lums. They have apples now of last year's growth, and 
bring them to market, and put them in water to plump 
them out ; and I can believe Head's story of the tailor 
eating a washhand-basin full of fresh Orleans plums, 
after seeing the countrymen eat the apples only half nn- 
wizened out of the tub. The potatoes are small, and 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



73 



Hood says he was nearly choked by some shced up and 
fried, as he found afterwards, in the same pan which had 
cooked some bony Prussian carp the day before. 

* * * # 

The foregoing letter presents a fair specimen, here and 
there, of the dictations and suggestions, but more espe- 
cially of the interpolations and additions, with which my 
father delighted to embellish my mother's letters. When- 
ever she left a half-finished letter anywhere in his reach, 
she was sure, on her return, to find " notes and queries " 
inserted, often much opposed to her original meaning, 
and frequently tending to the utter mystification of the 
recipient of the letter. Her handwriting was, although 
legible, rather peculiar, and he delighted in making it 
more so, — altering o's and a's, and changing t's into d's, 
to the utter confusion of her meaning. On one occasion 
this led to an absurd mistake. She had written to a 
friend to procifre her some good Berlin patterns for slip- 
pers, &c. ; but during her absence, my father got hold of 
her note, and, in his favourite fashion, altered and touched 
up the words. Some time after, she received a reply 
from her friend, asking what new English article it could 
be that was dignified by the name of " dippers ! " 

From the time of their arrival at Coblenz, my father's 
health continued very bad ; and the necessity for constant 
work still continuing, there was little chance of amend- 
ment. Still his happy flow of spirits never failed him, 
as may be seen by his letters. 

The first summer of my father's residence at Coblenz 
was pleasantly varied hj his making acquaintance, as 

4 



74 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



mentioned by my mother, with a young Prussian officer, 
M. de Franck. After their meeting during a walk by 
the Rhine, my father wrote him the following note : — 

Sir, 

I regret that I had not a card about me to offer to you 
in acknowledgment of a rencontre so agreeable. I beg 
leave to enclose one, lest you should suppose me infected 
with that national shyness, which makes foreigners so apt 
to consider us as a grand corps de reserve. 
I have the honour to be, Sir, 

Yours obediently, 

Thomas Hood. 

Lieutenant de Franck, 
19th Polish Eegiment, Ehrenbreitstein. 

My father found in M. de Franck a very pleasant and 
agreeable friend, and a great help in all difficulties of 
German usage and language. He was his constant com- 
panion in all his fishing rambles and excursions, and used 
to drop in, in a quiet friendly way, of an evening, and 
play cribbage with my father and mother. They made 
the merriest and cosiest little party imaginable, generally 
finishing with some dainty treat of English cookery for 
supper. During my mother's enforced absences to su- 
perintend the cooking of these little edibles, the "two 
knaves " took the opportunity of changing her cards, mov- 
ing her pegs, &c., secretly delighted at her puzzles and 
wonderings on her return. On these occasions my father 
generally kept them in a continual laugh by his flow of 
witty anecdotes and jokes. 

The following is a letter to Mr. Dilke, the then editor 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



75 



of the " Athcnasum," and one of my father's earliest 
friends : — 

CoBLENZ, May 6th, 1835. 

My dear Dilke, 

You ought to have heard from me before, but I was loth 
to inflict upon you bad news in return for your very kind 
letter, for every syllable of which I thank you, and in- 
stead of quarrelling with what you have said, I thank 
you for the meaning beyond. The truth is I have been 
unchanged from the hour I left you, my mind has not 
faltered for an instant, but though the spirit is willing, 
the body is weak. My health broke down under me at 
last, after a series of physical, as well as mental trials, 
and I am not a-Gog corporeally, witness my experiments 
in your night-gowns. " Tylney Hall," the " Comic," 
Jane's illness, and the extreme exhaustion consequent 
thereon, disappointment, storm and travel, came a pick-a- 
back, and I am not a Belzoni to carry a dozen on each 
calf, two on my head, &c. I broke down — not but that 
I fought the good fight, like a Widdrington, with a good 
heart, but I was shorn of my physical powers. The 
storm was a severe one. What pitched over, literally, 
stout mahogany tables, where eight or ten may dine, 
might derange any one ; and the change of climate, 
which is really considerable (we had hotter suns in 
March than in England during May), had its effect. 
The safe arrival of Jane with my darlings, all better than 
I had hoped for, did me a world of good. * * * * 

I assure you sincerely as to my personal feelings, with 
a decent state of health I could be very happy and con- 
tented ; the presence of a very few friends would make 



76 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



my comfort complete. But I now suffer mentally, because 
my health will not keep pace with me. I have at last re- 
luctantly called in medical aid ; the whole system here 
seems based on Sangrado's practice, bleeding, blistering, 
and drastics. I had the prudence to mitigate his prescrip- 
tions, which in the proportion of two-thirds almost made 
me fiiint away. They do not recognise our practice here, 
or I could doctor myself. But according to Sir F. Head- 
in " The Brunnens," Germans require horse medicines. 
I think I never in my life felt such a prostration of physi- 
cal power, I can hardly get up a laugh, and am quite out 
of humour with myself. If I were Dick Curtis I could 
give myself a good licking, I mean my body, for not 
being more true to me. The " Athenaeum " has been a 
great delight to me — it costs me here only two groschen, 
about two pence. Is it not singular that a fortnight ago, 
as the only exception to the rule, it cost me four or five 
groschen. I understand that throughout the Rhine, every- 
thing within the last two years has risen nearly fifty per 
cent, from the great influx of English. Notwithstanding 
this, many of the necessaries are very good and cheap, 
butter, bread, &c. I am going to make a calculation 
whether home cookery will not be the cheapest, though 
we have hitherto dined at the hotel, pour voir le monde. 
I have bought some brandy here very good, though it is 
rather scarce, bottles included 25. 6c?. each, and some 
Oberwesel wine, something between Hock and Moselle, 
Is. a bottle. I have got Jane some bottled Bavarian 
beer, which is very good. Butter is 8c?. per pound, three 
rolls Ic?., and eggs about 2^d. a dozen. 

I was going to resume this, but was prevented by what 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



77 



soldiers call a night-attack. On going to bed I was seized 
with violent spasms in the chest, which after some time 
compelled me to send for the Dr. at midnight. I could 
only breathe when bolt upright, and rarely then at the 
expense of intense pain ; I thought every breath would 
be the last. My Dr. certainly does me good, and, though 
a Jew, does not repeat his visits unnecessarily, but " waits 
till called for;" he talks a little English, and as Pope 
says I feel assured, "a little learning is a dangerous 
thing." 

Jane said to him, "I wish you could give to Mr. Hood 
some strengthening medicine to which he replied, 
"Who is that physician ygu speak of?" But a more 
whimsical mistake arose out of my lay-up, which I must 
give you dramatically. Our servant knows a few words 
of English too, her name is Gradle, the short for Marga- 
ret. Jane wanted a fowl to boil for me. Now she has a 
theory that the more she makes her English un-English, 
the more it must be like German. Jane begins by show- 
ing Gradle a word in the dictionary. 

Gradle. " Ja ! yees — hiihn — henne — ja ! yees." 

Jane (a little through her nose). " Hmn — hum — 
hem — yes — yaw, ken you geet a fowl — fool — foal, to 
boil — bile — bole for dinner ? " 

Gradle. " Hot wasser ? " 

Jane. " Yaw in pit — pat — pot — hmn — hum — 
eh ! " 

Gradle (a little off the scent again). "Ja, nein — 
wasser, pot — hot — nein." 

Jane. " Yes — no — good to eeat — chicken — cheek- 
en — checking — choking — bird — bard — beard — lays 



78 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



eggs — eeggs — hune, heine — bin — make cheekin broth 

— soup — poultry — peltry — paltry ! " 

Gradle (quite at fault). " Pfeltrighcbtch ! — neln." 

Jane (in despair). "What shall I do! and Hood 
won't help me, he only laughs. This comes of leaving 
England ! " (She casts her eyes across the street at the 
Governor's poultry-yard, and a bright thought strikes 
her.) " Here, Gradle — come here — comb hair — hniu 

— hum — look there — dare — you see things walking 

— hmn, hum, wacking about — things with feathers — 
fathers — feethers." 

Gradle (hitting it off again). "Feethers — faders — 
ah hah! fedders — ja, ja, yees, sie bringen — fedders, 
jaja!" 

Jane echoes " Fedders — yes — yaw, yaw ! " 

Exit Gradle, and after three-quarters of an hour, re- 
turns triumphantly with two bundles of stationer's 
quills ! ! I This is a fact, and will do for Twig. 

* * * * J yfWi write as well as I can a 
description, which may serve to extract for the " Athe- 
naeum." The bound volumes were, though only a Dilke- 
send, like a God-send. You cannot think how well they 
read here, where there is nothing else to read. There's 
a compliment for you, worthy of our Irishman. On the 
first of May here, when I was wondering what would 
replace the roundahxjs of the London sweeps, the defi- 
ciency was kindly supplied by a whirlwind, which made 
a great many sundries dance in its vortex. I was gaz- 
ing from the window of the Belle Vue Hotel opposite 
the bridge, when my attention was excited by a great 
cloud of Germaa dust, waltzing after the German fash- 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



79 



ion, to the great embarrassment of some untaught crows 
or rooks, who were flapping about quite bewildered in its 
mazes. It came from the direction where the Moselle 
mingles with the Rhine. The dust cleared off in about 
a minute, and the whirlwind itself became distinctly 
visible, travelling diagonally across the Rhine, at a 
leisurely pace, and showing to great advantage against 
the rock of Ehrenbreitstein, at that time bright with a 
gleam of sun, and strongly brought out by a mass of ink- 
black clouds ; of a grey colour — slender, of equal width 
throughout — bellying before the wind, with a curve 
equal to that of the longest kite-string, and moreover 
towards the top, serpentining in three or four undulations, 
as if from various currents of air. The phenomenon 
presented the appearance of a narrow but long ribbon 
let down from the clouds. It apparently rose to a great 
height — I should guess a mile — and terminated above 
in a sort of ragged funnel of scarcely twice the diame- 
ter of the tube. I could not detect any circular motion ; 
in fact, I repeat, it looked like a ribbon. On reaching 
the opposite side of the river it raised a surge on the 
bank, as well as a wash of linen which lay there, and 
which, after a few pirouettes, disappeared — of course it 
got a good wringing. I have since learned that it also 
made free with some skins from the leather manufactory 
situated near the Moselle, and carried them almost to 
Ems — I suppose to be cured. The whirlwind itself 
disappeared between Ehrenbreitstein and its neighbour- 
ing height, following apparently the road to the baths, as 
if to get rid of its dust. 

But mark the truth of the proverb "one good turn 



80 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



deserves another," the first had scarcely vanished, when 
looking upwards, I discerned overhead a second, but 
parallel with the earth, in the shape of a long black 
cloud, slowly revolving, and pointing in the direction 
which its predecessor had travelled over. It had the 
wind, as the sailors say, right fore and aft, and was some- 
what shorter and lustier than the vertical one, ending ob- 
tusely towards the wind ; but at the other, terminating iu 
a long fine point ! I could not help exclaiming as I saw 
it, " there's a screw loose in the sky ! " for which even the 
Germans who knew English were little the wiser. 

In expectation of seeing you this summer I have 
made a rough sketch of the thing, however incompetent, 
for a whirlwind especially demands a Turner. 

My illness has been a sad hindrance to me in the 
" Comic," as to the executive, but I have collected some 
materials. I think I can hit off a few sketches like 
Head's as to the Germans. I have seen many funny 
things here. 

Jane is evidently much better, and has walked up the 
hill to Ehrenbreitstein ; and the children, thank God, 
thrive apace. The baby, Tom junior, has been vacci- 
nated according to law here ; he gets on well and is very 
good, giving as little trouble as a baby can. Fanny sel- 
dom walks out but with some little Germans walking 
parallel before and after, and wondering at her to her 
great amusement. She is quite a model here, for 
" strange yet true it is," aU the children here are bandy- 
legged ! You never saw such a set of legs as go to 
school daily down our street. But the people here are 
very stupid ; mere animals ; they take no interest in 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



81 



Science, Literature, Politics, or anything I can find, but 
eating and drinking. 

The " Athenaeum," which I one day read at the table 
d'hote before dinner, has I fear stamped me a pedant. 
Pray did you ever taste Mai Drank " or May Drink ; 
if not, you have a pleasure to come. I look forward to 
your advent with great joy, and hope some of you at 
least may come. For my own part, if God would but 
grant me a stomach, I have heart enough to stay here a 
couple of years. I only want health and strength. But 
those will come and the rest with them. 

Thanks to Dr. B , who acted as dragoman or in- 
terpreter, Jane has got her fowls at last ! Only an old 
woman brought them alive and crowing ! It so happened 
that to-day two hens have appeared for the first time, and 
the moment Jane saw them she thought we were still at 
fault, and that we were supposed to want to keep fowls. 
But the real ones have come home at last, dead and 
plucked, and we have hopes of one to-morrow, having 
been three days in getting it. 

Oh ! how I wish I wrote for A. K. Newman, and 
lived near Leadenhall Market ! Mon perruque ! how 
we are to get it boiled is a mystery yet unsolved. I 
guess Jane or I must just parboil ourselves by way of 
making signs. I only wonder, in my illness, when Jane 
sent for a doctor, Gradle did not bring me a bootmaker ! 
But as Jane says, " there is a cherub up aloft for us." 

I dined to-day on bread and Swiss cheese. I have no 
appetite, and German cookery is " rank — it smells to 
heaven ! " Salt fish they wash till it is fresh, and what 
is fresh they just make sour enough for you to think it is 

4 * F 



82 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



turned. What ought to be sour — pickled walnuts — 
are sweet, tasting of cloves, — you never know where 
to have 'em ! 

« « « « 

There are but few roofs in England under which 
my thoughts find a pleasant resting-place. So Coblenz 
would be a sort of Noah's Ark to me, but for the olive 
branch at 9, Lower Grosvenor Place. Jane sends her 
love to jMrs. Dilke and will write by the next post. 
News is scarce here both ways. A raft the other day 
carried away part of the bridge about half a mile ; and 
though the Rhine is not so rapid now, they were about 
forty hours getting it back again ! No great credit to 
their mechanical powers. God bless you all, if the ben- 
ediction from an Anti-Agneivite be worth having. Kind 
regards to all friends. Rogers's Reminiscences to every 
one who cares to remember, 

My dear Dilke, 

Yours ever faithfully, 

T. Hood. 

19<A May, 1835. 

My dear Dilke, 
I did not expect to write to you again so soon, but 
having to send the above, I do so. 

* * * * 

I have had a fresh attack of the spasms, — scarcely 
so severe as the first, but longer ; they have left me so 
weak I can hardly walk. But the weather is favoura- 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



83 



l)le, and I try to get out, and take exercise and fight it 
off. The worst is over I think now, but it has been a 
sad hindrance to me. Next month we are going to alter 
our arrangements, and dine at home ; with our own 
kitchen, &c., it will be much better and cheaper, and 
these one o'clock table d'hote dinners cut up my morn- 
ings terribly. Thank God ! Jane appears to get on in 
her health as well as her fatigues will let her, and 
Fanny is hearty and happy. But the babe is necessarily 
poorly from vaccination — he thrives otherwise famously. 
The air here seems very good and pure, and the coun- 
try is beautiful now with the spring greens. We have 
heard the nightingale once, singing beautifully. Neither 
the Rhine nor Moselle, however, is very blue yet, — 
mud-colour rather, we have had so much wind and wet ; 
but the " arrowy river " is fine anyway ; what a rush it 
makes, as if there were something very good at the end 
of its course : here I could morahse, but I won't. I 
am washy and spiritless, and should degenerate into 
twaddle. 

The " Athenjeum," by special request, when I have 
done with it, goes to the Hotel, for the benefit of the 
English who come there. They are not numerous yet, 
but nmst be coming, when they do come, in shoals. I 
was diverted with one young fellow who came up to go 
to some clerkship at Mayence, a true Cockney. He 
thought his " dampschiffe " billet was a passport, so left 
the latter at Cologne, and came on here. He got me to 
explain the money to him, and after all was done, ex- 
claimed in a real Bow-bell voice : " Well, arter all, 
there's no place like Lonnon ! " 



84 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



I also met at a shop here with a Parisian cockney — • 
of whom I shall make a sketch a la Sterne — a cobbler's 
boy ! He told me he came from Paris several times ; 
asked me whence I came, — " from London." " Ah, 
Monsieur, est-il pres de Paris ? " 

Pray tell Mrs. Dilke one of the last little table dis- 
plays I have seen here. At the table d'hote, the English 
are fond of copying foreign customs and manners. First 
pull out the crumb of your roll, about half of which roll 
up, and work between your fingers (if snufiy the better) 
into little balls as big as marbles. They will not look 
exactly like Wordsworth's "White Dough," but rather 
dirty putty. When you have used your quill toothpick, 
stick it np, bolt upright, in one of these dirty balls, a 
little flattened beneath, as you may have seen candles 
stuck in extempore clay candlesticks at an illumination. 
Should it (the toothpick) want cleaning, furbish it up 
with one of the other dirty bread balls ; then it will be 
ready for further use ! This I should think a very polite 
piece of manners, for I had it from a gentleman who 
wears a black velvet great coat and a ribbon at his 
button-hole, and who evidently does not think small beer 
of himself, or vin ordinaire, as I ought to say here. 
Mind, don't extract this in the " Athenaeum " or 'twill be 
recognised. It is dangerous writing to the editor of a 
paper so in want of original extracts ! Shall I write 
you weekly a foreign letter here, as your correspondent 
from Munich ? There are no fine arts, or literature, or 
scientifics or politics here, but I can make them. Have 
you heard of our young sculptor, Hoche ? his group of 
Goethe supported in the arms of Charlotte and Werther 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



85 



is just put up, but the pedestal is too low. Professor 
Swaltz's " Essay on the Architecture of the Catti " has 
made a great sensation here, and has quite filled all 
mouths, which a week ago were occupied with the project 
for having a new pump in the Rhein Strasse, and enclos- 
ing the parade with posts and rails. Nous verrons. In 
my next, I shall give you an account of the grand pai-ty 
at Prince Pfaffi's, &c., &c., &c. I could make you a 
double number of very Foreign intelligence. Or shall I 
send you some free translations from the German ? 
They translate from me, and I ought to show my grati- 
tude. If I may choose, I should like to make my first 
experiment on Kant's Transcendentalism. I have been 
to the Hotel of an evening, and got a good notion of 
German philosophy, — perhaps you are not aware that 
it is laid on with pipes, like the gas in London ! I have 
tried to draw some of them, but a real smoker beats the 
pencil. It is a mistake, by the way, to say " he is smok- 
ing," he is not active but passive, — " being smoked ! " 
How they suck their pipes, like great emblems of second 
childhood, so placid, so innocent, so unmeaning ! " Mild 
as the Moonbeam ! " 

* * * * 

My kindest regards to Mrs. Dilke and "Wentworth, and 
believe me ever, my dear Dilke, 

Yours very truly, 

Thos. Hood. 

The following letter was addressed to John Wright, 
Esq., of the firm of Wright and Folkard, wood engravers 



86 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



of Fenchurch Street. This gentleman undertook the 
arrangement of the " Comic " during my father's absence, 
correcting the proofs, and superintending the more me- 
chanical part of the work. 

372, Castor Hof, Coblenz, Sept. 12ih, 1835. 
My dear Wright, 
You will be glad to hear that I cannot write at great 
length to you, because I am busy, and able to be busy. 
You may imagine what a delight it was to us to see the 
Elliots, — they are so very kind and friendly. Besides, 
it was a comfort to have his opinion about me, though I 
am much better. I almost growl at feeding-time if the 
dinner is not ready. We dine at a very genteel hour — 
two o'clock — which is also the Governor's time. The 
universal people take it at one. But I find the differ- 
ence more striking mentally than corporeally even ; and 
ideas now come of themselves without being laboured for 
— and 171 vain. In fact, I know that I have a mind, or 
according to the famous form, " Cogito, ergo sum" I 
believe that 's something like the Latin for it, but I for- 
get, for I had a Latin prize at school! As I find a pos- 
itive pleasure in the power, its exercise must be equally 
pleasant, and I think I shall get on rapidly ; indeed, some 
evenings I have been quite delighted with my compara- 
tive fertility of thought. I have got some good stories, 
or hints for stories, from De Franck, whose loss I fear I 
shall shortly have to regret, for I really like him. How 

odd his knowing C and H. D ; there must 

have been some mysterious animal magnetism in his ac- 
costing me. A joke with him has led to my writing a 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



87 



poem of some 700 lines, which you will soon receive. 
My own impression is, if good enough for the " Comic," 
it had better be there to advance ; but consult with Dilke, 
who will judge better than I can. I have been so unwell, 
I am down, and diffident as to what I do. I shall have 
some more Sketches on the Road, and some German sto- 
ries, so I have not been quite idle even in bed. I did 
hope to be earlier this year, but, as all philosophers must 
say when it comes to be impossible, " it can't be helped." 
I am only too happy to exclaim, like the poor scullion in 
" Tristram Shandy," " I 'm alive." But some day I hope 
to make my account even with the storm ; for there were 
some Eugene Aram-like verses rambled through my 
brain as I lay for the first night alone here — I believe a 
trifle delirious — but I remember something of their ten- 
our, and I have a storm by me to work them up with. 
You see I am cutting out work for the winter. I went, 
the day the Elliots left, to Metternich, and in a wood at 
the top of a hill I found a large patch of wild purple cro- 
cuses in full bloom. I suppose they, too, had suffered a 
storm, and could not bud as they ought to have done in 
the spring. To-morrow I dine on game ! — " Think of 
that. Master Brooke ! " for it will make me think of you. 
I am sorry about Gilston Park. It would have turned 
all my hares white in one night, and then such a herd of 
deers. I have only three here, Jane, Fanny, and Tom ; 
but they make a strong ring-fence about me. AYhat a 
lot of Tremaines he must write to get it back again. We 
authors are an unlucky set — freehold, copyhold, or copy- 
right ! 

Kind regards to all. God bless you, and send you 



88 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



bright days, that we may meet in 1855 like two Roths- 
children just come of age and into our fortunes. 

Yours ever truly, 

Thomas Hood. 

P. S. — "Vallnuts* is in, and thrippins an underd, 
and will be lowerer!" Think of that! 

In the latter part of September, or beginning of Octo- 
ber, our friend left with his regiment for Posen, and the 
following letter was written by my father as if to himself 
from M. de Franck, as a quiz upon the bad memory of 
the latter. It is a curious jumble of wilful mistakes, and 
the changes are rung through every variety that can be 
thought of. 

Posen, October 30th, 1835. 

My dear Mr. Wood, 
The departure of a friend for Coblenz affords me an 
opportimity of which I avail myself with much pleasure, 
and especially as it enables me to prove, in spite of your 
facetious hints of my inconstancy, that I am not unmind- 
ful of my absent friends. On the contrary, I assure you 
that on our march hither my thoughts often wandered 
back to Coblenz, and rested on you and your amiable 
wife and interesting family. Nay, although I am now 
quartered in a city of infinitely more bustle and gaiety, 

* My father had a great fondness for nuts, which his doctors were 
very loth to allow him. On one occasion my mother kept a quantity 
of them in a chiffonnier, and used to lock the door that he might not 
get too many. He committed an amiable amateur larceny by taking 
out the drawer, and fishing the nuts out of the cupboard through the 
aperture. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



89 



and have besides more multifarious military duties, still I 
can honestly declare, as this letter is a proof, that, in spite 
of such numerous avocations and distractions, my memory 
has never failed to recur to the many pleasant evenings I 
passed at your apartments in the Rhein Strasse. Indeed, 
I may almost say that I find Posen itself rather dull for 
want of such hours and companionship, and especially 
that of your lively little girl, whose remarks used to 
please me so very much. I never hear the name of Ma- 
ria [Georgiana] but I think of her and her merry dark 
eyes, not forgetting her little brother Peter [William]. 
Sometimes I wonder whether Lina (you see I do not for- 
get any one) gets more intelligible to her mistress, and I 
often wish my German could be again tasked to interpret 
between her and Mrs. Good. These are delightful remi- 
niscences to me, and I shall cherish them to the last 
moment of my life. Let time rob me of what it may, it 
can never efface these traces of real friendship — even if 
I did not possess such a souvenir to remind me of you as 
the " Comic Manual" [" Chemical Annals"], which you 
were so kind as to present to me as a keepsake. I as- 
sure you, my dear Mr. Woodthorpe, I value it very 
much, and I did not forget it, and leave it behind me at a 
little wine-house on the right-hand side of the road be- 
tween Pfaffendorf and Hocheim. The landlord's name, 
I think, was Steibel. Your story about " Was the other 
Dead Man a Beggar ? " runs in my head as much as ever, 
and often sets me thinking of you ; which always ends in 
the wish that I could say here to my servant, as I used 
when I was quartered at Ehrenbreitstein, " I am going 
to Mr. Blood's ! " Even Juno seems to miss your indul- 



90 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



gence ; she looks melancholy, and, I dare say, longs in 
her heart to have another romp -with your little boy, or a 
race with Miss Sarah round your garden. Poor Juno ! 
I never take a walk with her of an evening without re- 
grets at our separation. I assure you I have marked as 
a lucky day in my calendar the one on which I first met 
yourself, Mrs. Woodroffe, and little Margaret, on the 
banks of the Rhine. I can only comfort myself with the 
hope that I am allowed to live in your remembrances as 
you do in mine : in my mind's eye I see you all plainly 
at this moment, seated in that little room which looks on 
the Mosel bridge. As for little CaroHne, I picture her, 
of course, surrounded with her dolls, or jjlaying with her 
old favourite cart and horse. 1 suppose, by this time, 
through running about under a German sun, her little 
brother is as brown as she is ; but there is no harm in 
that, for one is not very solicitous about having fair boys. 
If my memory serves me, the complexion of her other 
brother was very dark. It is very singular, but when I 
arrived at Posen, I did not find any old friends. You 
will say, of course, that I had forgotten them ; but I will 
leave my defence to Mrs. Wedgwood, who used to stand 
my friend in such cases when you ran me so hard, and 
promised me a slice of bread and butter for a keepsake. 
The faithfulness and minuteness of my recollections in 
this letter ought also to speak for me. I can only say, if 
it should please Fortune, even twenty years hence, to 
throw us again together, you will find that neither your 
features nor the name of Woodley have escaped my 
memory, which was always reckoned a very good one. 
But we shall meet, I trust, in a much shorter interval 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



91 



than a score of years. I am tantalised here sometimes 
with rumours of our returning to Coblenz early in next 
spring. Should we do so, I suppose I shall hardly know 
Miss Flora again, for by that time her pretty black hair 
M ill be long enough to tie into tails, as the German little 
girls dress their heads. Pray give my love to her, and 

ask her if she remembers Lieut, von F and his dog 

Juno. There is a little girl here, thirteen or fourteen 
years old, just about her height of figure, and talking a 
little French also, who reminds me vividly of my little 
friend in Coblenz. She has the same black eyes and 
hair, and is equally fond of skipping-rope and swinging. 
If I remember rightly, those were little Katherine's fa- 
vourite pastimes. 

And now my dear Mr. Goodenough my time of duty 
warns me to conclude. It will give me sincere pleasure 
if you should think this letter worthy of a return in 
kind, in which case I beg you will be particular in 
giving me every information of yourselves and your 
family. Pray take care of your health, and do not 
neglect my advice about currents of air. I remember 
you had a discoloration under the eye as if from a severe 
blow through sitting in a thorough draught. You must 
not prosecute your medical [mathematical] studies too 
closely. By this time I trust Mrs. Woodbridge is quite 
well, and has no further occasion for the services of 

Dr. B . I sincerely hope she will feel no more 

ill effects from the dreadful storm she encountered in 
coming from England. Have the kindness to present 
my respectful regards to her, with my best wishes for 
her health and welfare, and a happy and safe return 



92 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



in due time to Northamptonshire [Scotland]. I think 
you told me you came from Edinburgh, indeed I remem- 
ber you had the Northern accent, which no doubt 
enabled you to pronounce the German so correctly. 
Pray give my love to Miss Anne, and tell her I hope 
she does not neglect her pianoforte. I remember all 
the airs she used to play to me. Her brothers, I fear, 
will have forgotten me, otherwise I should desire to 
be named to them with kindness. I shall eagerly ex- 
pect every post to hear from you ; and let me again 
beg of you to mention every one belonging to you, even 
your dog. You could not offer me a greater gratifica- 
tion ; and if little Charlotte would add a P. S. in her 
own hand, for I remember she wrote very well, my 
pleasure would be complete. 

Accept my kindest regards to you and yours, and 
pray beUeve me, 

My dear Mr. "Woodgate, 
Your very sincere friend and well-wisher, 
Philip de Franck. 

P. S. I shall watch the newspapers for announcements 
of your new works. I hope that some day you will pub- 
lish another novel like your Tilbury House [Hall]. 

To James Wood, Esq., Coblenz. 

372, Castor Hof, Coblenz, Nov. Srd, 1835. 
My dear Wright, 
I had yours with great delight, for I was ver^ anxious 
about the fate of my box. I have made some inquiry 
and suspect the cause of the delay was that they were 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



93 



things never sent before ; and that when examined at the 
frontiers between Prussia and Holland, thej did not 
know what to do or to charge. I think such a delay not 
likely to happen again, but shall take every precaution. 
I had declared here what they were, and will in future 
get them sealed by the Douane here if I can. The MS. 
I will send post after post as I write it. I am glad what 
I sent made so much. Before this you will have found 
out what was to be done. * * * i am glad you 
liked Doppeldick. If I can only travel a bit in the 
spring here I will make* " sich a Comic as never vos." 
I know nobody here now but R , a teacher of lan- 
guages, who drops in every Sunday. The last I had 
such a long palaver with him in French ; and I really 
believe I must be to him as Horam the Son of Asmar, 
or one of the relaters of the Arabian Nio-hts — though 
only in giving him an account of England — of which he 
asks me such questions as " have we any oaks ? " almost 
if " we have any sun or moon ! " I make him stare 
with truths sometimes. And though he is polite like all 
foreigners nearly, he almost constantly has an involun- 
tary shake of the head. 

* * * * 

A shopkeeper, who also spoke French, one of the few 
I am on speaking terms with, died the other day of 
" nervous fever," being swelled like a man with dropsy ! 
Verily I have no faith in the doctors here — we are sure 
to see a funeral every day — the population being only 
20,000 including troops. I heard the other day of a 
man having fifty-jive leeches on his thigh ! My wig ! 



94 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



why they out-Sangrado Sangraclo ! One of their blisters 
would draw a waggon. If I should be ill again I will 
prescribe for myself. 

I will conclude with a Coblenz picture. Jane in bed, 
smothered in pillows and blankets, suffering from a terri- 
bly inflamed eye. In rushes our maid, and without any- 
warning suddenly envelopes her head in a baker's meal- 
sack hot out of the oven ! prescribed as a sudorific, and 
the best thing in the world for an inflamed eye, by the 
baker's wife (there's nothing like leather!). What be- 
tween the suddenness of the att'ack and her strong sense 
of the fun of the thing, Jane lay helplessly laughing for 
awhile and heard Gradle coax off the children with 
" Coom schon babie — coom schone Fannische — mama 
kranke ! " Encore ! I sent a pair of light trousers 
which were spotted with ink to be dyed black ; after six 
weeks they came back like a jackdaw, part black, part 
grey. I put my hands in the pockets like an English- 
man, and they came out like an African's. I think seri- 
ously of giving them to a chimney-sweep who goes by 
here; full grown, long nosed, and so like the devil I 
wonder Fanny has never dreamed of him. There were 
two ; but the other was stoved to death the other day at 
our neighbour the general's. They lit a fire under him 

when he was up. Our Dr. B who was sent for, 

told me gravely, that he could not revive him, for when 
he came, the man was Mack in the face I " 

I forgot to tell you that when Gradle first proposed 
the hot flour prescription of the baker's wife, Jane had 
flattered herself that it was only a little paper bag of hot 
flour ; and it was only when she was tucked in that she 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



95 



began to feel what a cake she was ! I wonder what 
they do for rheumatism ! God bless you ! 

Yours ever truly, 

T. Hood. 

P. S. Fanny sends her love, " not forgetting Jemmy 
and Freddy," and how they would like to come to Cob- 
lenz and see all the soldiers, and the generals. There is 
a man of the general's who rides upon a horse with a 
helmet on his head. I can almost talk German, I shall 
be glad to come back to "England. Tommy has grown 
and is very fat. He has two sharp teeth, and he bites 
my fingers when I put them in his mouth. I am very 
happy here, because I can see the band go into the gen- 
eral's, I can say how many months make a year, and 
how many weeks make a month. I can write upon my 
slate A. B. C. and figures. And oh! I have a great 
house for my dolls, and three rooms in it ! and I can't 
say any more for my head aches, and I have a great 
many teapots and mugs, and I have got a cold, and a 
kitchen ! Good night, and love to you and Jemmy and 
Freddy. 

" All of this stuff is Fanny's, every line, 
For God's sake, reader, take them not for mine ! " 

CoBLENZ, 2,\$t Dec, 1835. 

My dear Wright, 
Your letter arrived yesterday evening to my great re- 
lief, for I began to get very anxious, supposing the book 
would be published on the loth, and feel sure I shall be 
pleased with it, when I see it. All parties appear to 



96 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



have done their best, and for your own share I can only- 
say that I feel you have done for me, as I would for you 
— your very best ; so accept my best thanks accordingly. 
And now, what will you think of those abominable three 
months' old letters ? up to this very hour they have never 
come to hand. 

It has been a great nuisance to us, for we have not 
written to any one in the daily expectation of having 
something to answer, so that Dilke and I for exam- 
ple have not been on writing terms for three months, 
and I fear many things I had to tell him have escaped 
me. 

To estimate our expectations and disappointments, you 
must remember we are here as in a sort of desert, with 
one friend, De Franck, and one acquaintance Ramponi, 
the language master, who jabbers French with me, and 
every now and then a fellow with an orange collar, i. e. 
a postman, comes to the very next door. And now you 
will laugh to be told that I am this evening going with 
De Franck to a grand ball at the Casino, where will be 
all the rank, beauty, and fashion of Coblenz, of course 
not to dance, but at De Franck's advice, who says that 
the German New Tear ceremonies are worth seeing, and 
I mean to see all I can, and turn it to account. I expect 
to commit myself by laughing aloud, for when the clock 
strikes twelve I shall find myself all of a sudden the only 
unkissed, unembraced individual in the room ; Franck 
dined with us on Christmas day, and by his help in the 
evening we had a pretty German celebration to the high 
delight of Fanny ; but thereof no more, as we hope some 
day to introduce it in England. Our weather is variable, 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



97 



generally frosty — we have a little wliile had cold enough 
in all reason, the oil froze in the night light and the pound 
of butter in the middle, and as Katchen made a pudding 
in the kitchen the crust froze. The Rhine and the Mo- 
selle are full of ice, and the bridge being taken away, 
Franck for a month to come cannot stay with us later 
than nine in the evening, for he is quartered at Ehren- 
breitstein on the other side, and must boat it across. He 
is really a treasure to us, thoroughly English, unpresum- 
ing, gentlemanly, and full of good sense, fond of a joke 
withal. Between him and the children it is quite a 
mutual flame ; on their side, sometimes, so as to be 
laughable. 

One night after his long absence I hung him up in 
effigy as a deserter, and he came in and found Fanny 
crying at it as if breaking her heart. 

I have no local news to tell you, but that recently a 
priest at Cologne was convicted of poisoning a man from 
whom he had purchased an estate without paying for it. 
He is supposed to have given one or two their viaticum 
before now. 

N. B. My thunder and lightning waistcoat is come ! 
so I must go and dress for the ball. To you who know 
my habits all this must seem very funny as it does to 
myself. I expect to be highly amused. 

Jane is going to curl my hair, and I am going to comb 
and brush it, more attention altogether than hair gener- 
ally gets here. I drink, in a glass of holiday hock, to 
you and all friends, wishing many new years happier 
than the happiest you have ever known or unknown. 
'T is pure rich juice of the grape, would you could taste 

VOL. I. 6 G 



98 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



it, the worst here, at Sd. a bottle, we should think some- 
thing of in England. 

With kind regards to all, yours ever sincerely, 

Thomas Hood. 

The following amusing letter to Mrs. Dilke is without 
date, although from many circumstances it was evidently 
written in the latter part of 1835. 

372, CAST-iim-OFF, God bless, 1835. 
My dear Mrs. Dilke, 

I write to you instead of the D because I am sick 

of him as a correspondent : as a countryman of Taylor's 
said, " who would go out with a fellow, that when you 
fire at him with a blunderbuss only returns it with a 
pocket-pistol ? " even so have I sent Dilke huge letters 
full and crossed, enough to drive him blind and stupid, 
and give him a chronic headache ; and what does he 
send in answer but a little letteret that cannot do any- 
body any harm ? I suppose some day I shall come to, 
T. H. is received " at the fag end of the Athenaeum, 
amidst the mis-called Answers to Correspondents. 

In short, I resent, as people resent who know the 
world, — that is, cut him when he is making advances. 
You shall have this, who will put it amongst the haughty- 
graphs you are most proud of, instead of telling me coolly 
that my " account of the whirlwind at Ehrenbreitstein, 
and the story of the tooth-pick you had mislaid, and had 
never been able to lay your hand on it since." It is long 
since he wrote so ; but I can harhour malice quite as well 
as Margate pier. I scorn his paltry excuses for brevity 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



99 



without wit, and am astonished that he could have the 
face to plead "the disturbance of the gentleman over- 
head," whose noise he confessedly slept through. As for 
his cock and a bull about " Mr. Pap, who was burnt at 
Nottingham," I am of Jane's nursery opinion, that 
"jt?«p oughtn't to be burnt," and that is a sufficient 
notice. 

Regarding his whole 'pistle, in reality but a pocket 
'pistle, candour compels me to say, I cannot conceive 
how any man alive could write a duller, " with Liston 
on one side of him, and Miss Kelly on the other." You 
see I do not spare him ; but I have heard that in Eng- 
land it is a sort of genteel flirtation with the wife to 
abuse her husband to her face, so I mean to go my 
lengths. Poor dear wretched woman ! I can well con- 
ceive your perplexity with him at those Kentish cliffs, 
for as you say " change of air will bring out any com- 
plaint that is hanging about." I can fancy him com- 
plaining that all the chalk was not cheese, and then the 
cheese not all rhine, in his megrims. Editors, as you 
say, are but bad travelling companions, and as Taylor 
would say, they are but bad visiting companions, or be- 
fore this he would have left his card at least at our door ; 
but he preferred Margate, and I can only say, de disgus- 
tihus] &c. 

I don't wonder you " prefer divines,^' as I do, espe- 
cially if they are not attached to any particular church 
or chapel ; in token of which I last week gave a trifle to 
two Catholic priests towards building a new St. Castor's ; 
being perfectly persuaded that the money would never 
be applied to its ostensible use. I hope all stiff and 



100 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



back-bone Protestants will be satisfied with this my 
apology. 

They were very modest, and would take anything 
they could get, even copper, so I gave them a very small 
feather for the tail of the weather-cock. 

If I recollect rightly your style of singing, you were 
also in favour of " tollol"eration ; besides one of the priests 
allowed too that " tous les hommes sont des hommes," 
and I felt obliged to pay him for being converted 
so far into a Protestant. If JVIr. Dilke exerted himself, 
he might get me a missionary stipend. The man's a 
brute, and I '11 prove it by his own contrarieties ; for if, 
as you state, his only wish on the coast was to " avoid 
the sea," why on the same principle of logic did he take 
yoa with him, but to get rid of you ? Jane feels for you, 
and so do I, and indeed so do Fanny and Tom when you 
describe taking him by the fin, and hauhng him up " all 
along the shore there " to the fish-market, only to hear 
him complain like a porpoise on land that he couldn't 
" get enough fish." As to lugging him up to the Fort, 
you ought to have recollected how little your own piano- 
forte used to interest him. 

By your leave what you did with him was an error of 
judgment ; you should have stuck him on a high stool at 
the parlour window, and made him pay every man in a 
blue jacket and trousers, one and threepence ha'penny. 
Besides, you forget his travels. Was it likely that a 
man who had crossed the Simplon, would care to cross a 
donkey ? or that he who had seen St. Peter's at Rome, 
would give one of St. Petei-'s pence to see St. Peter's in 
Thanet? 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



101 



You must have forgotten that he had been at Venice, 
when you took him to " Snobs' watering-place." 

To get him into plain "yellow shoes and a pepper- 
and-salt dressing gown," must have been a mere Mar- 
gate miracle after the outlandish nightcaps with no hole 
to 'em, but like tasselled rainbows, I used to find on the 
pillow of the spare bed at number nine. Even at Cob- 
lenz, here, — and he recommended Coblenz, — a plum- 
coloured coat, sky blue pantaloons, and a waistcoat of 
patchwork in silk is the costume. When he does make 
a holiday in future, pray make him look more like an 
Editor, that is to say, clothe him in all the "miscella- 
neous articles" you can muster. Judging by this cos- 
tume, I suspect a good many of the Germans here are 
editors, and that accounts for Dilke wandering in this 
direction. But you will do well to egg him on in this 
fancy, for then, next year I may see you, and in the in- 
terim I will look out for German J. C , S , and 

Mrs. C ■ to meet you, — not forgetting a Mrs. Pap, 

who (Dilke says in his confidential letter to me) is " a 
very sociable, good-tempered woman." 

I am sure he means her, though he cunningly lays it 
on Mr. P. He says, " Mrs. Pap, whose husband was 
burnt at Nottingham — the latter is a very sociable," &c., 
&c. But don't be blinded so grossly. 

Thank God you will have left ere this ; a little longer 
and you would perhaps have been left, like Ariadne, on 
the shingles, looking at your husband gone off in a Pap- 
boat. 

But " henuff hov 'im," as of course you used to say 
at Margate. * * Tom, Junior, who came to Cologne 



102 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



a little "shabby, flabby, dabby babby," has grown a 
young Kentuck, who can lick his father — as hard as 
nails, and as brown as rusty ones. — For his temper, only 
fancy mine " with sugar." So unlike Jane's " warm with- 
out." Then he is already so good on his legs. I wonder 
he ever required D. " to stand for him," and as to talking 
he can say papa when he likes. I have no doubt he only 
don't cut his teeth because he don't choose. In bulk, 
he is really a double number, but a good deal more amus- 
ing. 

His love for Gradle is more beautiful than its object, 
for she is like a plain Chinese ; but he will know better 
as he grows up. 

Your Godchild is well and very good, but from seeing 
processions, &c., is half a Catholic, so if you please, you 
will come next year, and, according to your vows, teach 
her High Church. 

I think we could make you very comfortable, — at 
least you would not need to lie in bed and eat split peas, as 
you did in Paris. Jane can cook a little. She had the 
honour of making the first pie ever seen in Coblenz, and 
the baker so admired it that he abstracted half the con- 
tents — greengages. Gradle can cook in the English 
style too, but she will not eat what she has so cooked, and 
yet I imagine it must be a good style, for a poor woman 
comes for " the broth the ham was boiled in," but Jane 
suspects that it is for a night-light, — being nothing but 
water and oil. You shall try it when you come. If you 
liked Tivoli, we have dozens of such tea-garden places. 
Mozelweis, Schonbornlust, the Salmiac hut, &c., &c. I 
took the Elliots to the first by moonlight, and gave them 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



103 



punch, but nothing to eat was to be had save some cold 
plum-tart. We are not too refined here to go to German 
Wliite Conduits and Bagnigge Wellses. In the garden 
of Schonbornlust (which reminded me, by the way, of 
some of the shrubberies of Lake House), we saw the 
lady of our opposite neighbour, the general commander- 
in-chief of the Rhenish Provinces, or as Fanny calls 
her, Mrs. Generous (pro general). 

His Excellency is much taken with our brats, and 
often, as he rides by, gives Fanny what she calls a 
"laughish smile." But the admiration of the Castor 
Hof is Tom, or as Fanny says, " all the boys that trav- 
erse the street call him Timmus" (she got the fine word 
out of the lesson-book). He quite takes after his god- 
father Dilke, in eating everything he can get, and plenty 
of it, and he is as stout accordingly — not fat but solid. 

This has been a great blessing, and altogether we are 
as comfortable as need be. Our lodgings are very com- 
modious and pleasant. A sketch I send Dilke will show 
our look out at the back : and we have a tiny kitchen — 
but it does — it does. We shall be able to give the 
Elliots a dinner on their way back. 

I am writing in a little study with a bookcase and a 
sofa in it, so you see I am not without my luxuries; 
Fanny has a little bed-room next ours ; Tom has regu 
larly outgrown his cradle. 

Thank God, Jane and I have stopped growing, for as 
it is I cannot stretch at full length in the bed, except 
diagonally, because of the head and foot boards. The 
Prussians are universally shortish and the beds are in 
proportion, I ought to call them cribs. Ours is like " a 



104 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



coffin for two." So you may suppose we shall have no 
difficulty in finding spare beds for you when you come. 
Dilke must sleep upright in a cupboard. Mind you must 
not expect to be saluted when you arrive ; it is not the 
fashion here, we have had many greater personages and 
they did not get a single gun. Queen of Naples, Princess 
of Beira, Prince Frederick of Prussia — not a pop — at 
last came the King of Wiirtemberg, and as nobody else 
did, he saluted himself with some tiny guns from his own 
steamer. 

But you may get kissed a few ; Lieutenant Franck 
told us that when the third battalion of his regiment 
came here, he had to be kissed by about thirty officers of 
it. It was a very droll effect to see these moustached 
veterans embracing each other, like boarding-school 
misses. 

Franck, who is an Englishman, cannot bear it, and 
unluckily he is rather short. Allan Cunningham might 
escape it. I saw a young couple, lovers or newly mar- 
ried, kiss on separating in the steamboat, and, after going 
a few paces, the lady turned back and had another ! The 
gent by this time had got amongst a party of English, for 
whom the scene was too funny to withstand, and as the 
lady's " second thought " took effect in the midst of us, 
we all burst into a general roar. The King of Prussia 
will not allow his officers to marry unless, independent of 
pay, the couple have between them about 180 per an- 
num. I have some thoughts of writing a pretty little 
romance on the subject, — only fancy the distress of a 
pair of such turtle-doves £ 5 short ! 

Imagine them getting up to 79, and then the captain 



MEMOKIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



105 



obliged to sell out 10s. a year for a new uniform. Sitting 
in the stocks can be but a flea-bite to it. I should not 
like to be a father with money, for fear Wilhelmina or 
Charlotta should take it into her head to imitate Miss 
Blandy. 

To be sure the king has some right to look after the 
officers' matches, for he pays their debts, (I wish I was in 
his service,) and altogether he seems to be very kind and 
considerate towards them. What I hear of his Majesty 
I like, and am therefore pro tempore his loyal subject, 
and drank his health on his birthday. Yesterday we 
toasted " the Snobs " in Hocheim wine, it only costs 4c?. a 
bottle, and was quite good enough for such a pledge. I 
cannot help thinking your Margate trip has a little let 
you down, and you wiU want a jaunt up the Rhine to 
restore you to gentility. But pray cast off your Marga- 
tory manners and costume ere you come. One night 
there was such an English party at the gardens of the 
Weissen Ross, that Franck in horror told his brother 
officers they were French people. 

" It warn't bus," we are among the respectables at 
present, and one comfort is, that when Jane has worn 
out her bonnet and all her caps, if we can't afford new 
ones, it 's very fashionable for ladies to go bare-headed 
in the street. 

Then for me a blue smock frock is a sort of sporting 
or pedestrian dress for gentlemen, (and though I can't 
walk much, or shoot, I can make believe,) when I have 
worn out my best brown and my old black. 

I bought a cap to save my hat, and when I wear 
it, I am so thin withal, you would take me for a jockey 

5* 



106 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



who had been overtrained. But I hope to fill up again, 
for I am going to dinner with an appetite far sharper 
than our knives, which you may set your heart upon 
without hurting it. I feel quite a gourmand now, after 
going for months without dining, indeed it appears to 
have been a joke against me at the hotel, that I went 
to the table-d'hote not to eat. 

Now, I scold so, if the dinner is not ready at two ! 
Jane likes nothing less than to hear me exclaim, " slow 
coach!" which means that our household affairs are 
not going on at the proper pace. 

That will sometimes happen, for plain as she is, 
our Gradle has a lovyer (perhaps more), and goes out 
gallivanting. I wonder she has not lost him, for the 
departure of some five thousand troops to the reviews 
must have left many of the Coblenz servants at a loss 
what to do with their hearts. Comparatively Ave are 
as a city of the plague, and the streets appear deserted ; 
the officers and men off duty were always lounging 
about them. Dinner and turn-out is as common here 
as tea and ditto in England. 

We often see a party of a dozen officers in full twig 
go to dinner at two, and hop the twig at five or sooner, 
over the way. I cannot quite get out of my habit of 
sitting up to write at night, and when I am going to 
bed at eleven or twelve, and look out of the window, 
all Coblenzers are in bed ; the only living thing is the 
sentinel at the general's. At noon the whole town 
literally smells of dinner ; the shops are all locked up ; 
and great is the consumption of grease and garlic. 
Dilke, who is anything but peaking and delicate, will 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



107 



laugh, and say he never met with anything he couldn't 
eat ; but, upon my " davit," I saw a starved-looking dog 
in the steamboat refuse to touch a plate of scraps set 
before him by the steward. On looking over Jane's 
letter, for fear we should jostle on the same subject (you 
know we don't agree very well), I see she has given 
you a description of Gradle's dinner; so I refrain from 
mentioning it, and will only say that a knife, not without 
reason in Germany, is called a messer. As for Dilke 
(to recur to him), you know his infatuation about every- 
thing outlandish. Doesn't he send to (the further end 
of the Edgeware Road or where it is ?) for German 
mustard — only because it looks dirtier than the Eng- 
lish ! I '11 be bound, if it would give him time, he 
would give an elaborate panegyric on Prussic acid, 
because it is Prussian. Only try him ! We would 
give a trifle here for a good Margate whiting for all 
his skits on that very delicate flavoured fish, at this 
distance almost too delicate. 

I should like to have all the skate and flounders he 
refused; and if I possessed but a brill (that "workhouse 
turbot"), I almost think I should venture to ask his ex- 
cellency to dinner ; at a pinch we could enjoy sprats. I 
hear we can have oysters here in the season, rather 
stale-ish, that is to say they come like all other travellers, 
all " open-mouthed," as if they were looking at our lions. 
They eat them with vinegar and lemon, and Franck says 
you cannot eat them without ; for though you have them in 
their shells, they taste a little too corpse-like ; I think I 
could even eat the great big horse oysters with their beards 
on, that we used to leave to the coal porters and draymen 



108 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



about Lonnon. We have had those lobsters of Lilliput 
— small crayfish — we thought we must have bargained 
well when we got 25 a penny, but when Francli supped 
upon them witli us in the evening, he said we ought to 
have got a hundred; perhaps we ought to have had a 
dozen for nothing. But the poor rich English are very 
much imposed upon! A maitre d' hotel (a very good 
authority), told me candidly on coming up, that there 
were three tariffs for the English \ 

French ( , 

Dutch ) 

He stood in the middle predicament, and I have found 
his statement perfectly true. The good honest Germans 
are as great cheats as any, though I confess they look 
honest, they are so stupid-like, and perhaps honesty is 
stupidity. I had some shirts made here, and they not 
only changed the cloth I had bought of them, but sent 
me home some shirts so laughably short, I could bnly 
make shift with them ; this was a respectable shop. 
Franck says he interfered once (he has a good national 
spirit about him), when he found some English deplorably 
fleeced at an Inn. The fact is, though we pay three 
times as much as the natives, it is still so cheap in com 
parison with England, " dear, dear " England, that one is 
blinded to imposition. In my last letter to Wright, I 
ventured to conjecture that there would be a revolution 
in England, if it were from so many English coming up 
the Rhine, and finding what a deal they can get for their 
money ; not that they would wish to remove their kiJig, 
but that they would wish their sovereign to go farther.* 

* In these days, when we know more about the official — or shall 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



109 



Only think how you may be charitable on next to 
nothing by giving a pfenning, the third part of a fartliing ; 
and in this blessed country there is something to be 
bought even for that low denomination. I wonder what 
you can get in England for a farthing, for the " little far- 
thing rushlight" is only a fiction. Only fancy Fanny 
coming to me when Gradle is going to market, for a shil- 
ling to dine the whole household. 

We have not tried, but I really believe you might have 
a snug little evening party for half a guinea ! I suspect 
you never enjoy the sensation of fulness in the only 
place where repletion is a pleasure, in the pocket ! 

You might here go out of an evening with your bag 
full of money; and such is the nature of the coin, it 
would only suffice to pay for a lost game or two at shil- 
ling shorts. For example, fancy yourself the mother of a 
dozen strapping Wentworths (father or son they are both 
of a bigness), and even so does a little dumpy shirt-button- 
mould of a groschen (a penny), expand by changing into 
twelve goodly pfennings — each almost a ha'penny — 
whilst for a dollar (3 shillings), you get 6 pieces, each as 
big as the old eighteenpenny tokens. You might fell an 
ox with a long purse that had a pound translated into 
Prussian at the other end of it ; I wonder Mrs. Fry never 
came here, one might do such a deal of good ostentatious- 
ly for a shilling a week. For my own part, I have not 
gone further in contemplation than a little feast to the poor 

■we call it, officious — interference of Continental Governments, is it 
not tolerably evident that the letters to Wright went Wrong, in conse- 
quence of such an awfully revolutionary desire as that of " change for 
a sovereign?" — !. H. 



110 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



children in Coblenz, as I used to see the orphan school 
regaled in the avenue at the back of dear One-Tree Hill 
at Wanstead. 

It would be a pretty sight in the Castor Hof ; and 
fruits being cheap, only think that, buying wholesale, 
I could for three shillings give a hundred little ones nine 
greengages a-piece. 

This would be as good as dining them : for you may 
read in the " Bubbles " of a tailor and his son who lived 
in the season on plums. If you would like to join in the 
entertainment, you might make all the parents drunk 
for about a fourpence a head, with music ad libitum 
for eighteenpence. I assure you I was in doubt at the 
hotel at a table d'hote whether I could offer a penny 
farthing to a nice lady-like young woman, who had been 
so obliging as to sing, accompanied by her harp, all 
dinner-time. However, as the coin was neither silver 
nor copper, I managed not to be vulgar altogether, nor 
yet extravagant. You will be surprised to hear that 
nothing at all seemed to be very genteel, and some of the 
gentlemen gave it with a smirk and look as if they ex- 
pected a salute in return. Never mind Dilke, / say 
Germans are not liberal (of course only speaking from 
the sample here), and yet we have an instance of liberal- 
ity under our eyes enough to redeem a nation. How 
munificent are the poor to the poor, casting into shade 
the most splendid benefactions of princes ! 

Next door to us (a tavern) there lives a poor maniac ; 
the house is her own property, and therefore the charita- 
ble lunatic asylums are closed against her. Her brother, 
and heir, ill-treats her, and is supposed almost to starve 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. m 



her, for the sake of the freehold ; and the poor wretches 
at the back tenements, weavers and other famished 
human weazels (the woman who begs our ham-broth 
amongst the rest), thrust up to the poor mad creature, on 
the points of sticks, fragments of bread and food, of 
which, God knows, to look at them, they are scant 
enough themselves. This I call charity ; and it makes 
me so pleased with the givers, that I wish I were but 
that King of Hams, the King of Westphalia, to allow 
them ham-broth to swim in if they so pleased. 

And now, having given you this pretty episode to 
sweeten my asperities in my letter, I will leave you with 
an agreeable impression of human nature and myself. I 
have written a long letter, because I thought your kind- 
ness would be pleased with it, being a cheerful one, after 
some anxiety on my account. Besides, I write to you 
(I hope Dilke won't be jealous) con amove, seeing that 
we have been always very good friends, and have never 
disagreed but at secondhand. I mean when I could not 
put up with your pickled oysters, and you could not en- 
dure my preserved sprats. So I heartily reciprocate 
your " God bless" — which, I remember, when only fe- 
males were in the case, used to be followed by a sort of 
smack that might have been heard from No. 9 to Pim- 
lico palace. I do not know whether I ought — but the 
Germans do — and I 'd rather you than Dilke ; and be- 
sides, I recollect how you sobbed and cried when Doctor 

S went away without offering . So here goes 

— consider it enclosed! On second thoughts I have 
judged it better to keep up appearances with your hus- 
band by writing to him. So that while I get you to 



112 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



remember me kindly to William and "Wentworth and 
Taylor and Chorley and Holmes, and all other friends, I 
can get Dilke to forget me kindly to all the rest, which, 
I feel sure, he will punctually fulfil. He must have for- 
got himself when he went to Margate. I only wish when 
he goes to the coast again " may I be there to sea." Of 
course you did not dip him, for he is more than a mould 
already. Fanny asked, in her innocent way, " Did Mr. 
Dilke go about with a basket and pick up shells ? " I 
told her " No ; but he used to take a ride out on a don- 
key with you behind him on a pillion." I don't wonder 
at the child's wonder. In the name of Earl Goodwin 
(who rented the famous Sands), what did you do with his 
appetite ? He is not a man to go about picking shrimps 
and teazing periwinkles out of their shells with crooked 
pins. As the sea air is sharpening, I wonder he did not 
eat you, who are as plump as a partridge, with Mrs. Pap 
by way of bread-sauce. Then the hot weather you both 
talk of must have made him open his coat wider than 
usual, that the wind might get down the arms. I think 
I see him courting the sea-breeze. " Upon my soul, Ma- 
ria, this is a delightful place ! So like Coblenz ! So you 
call this Margate, do you, my beauty? Well — " (a 
grunt like a paviour's) " and I suppose you call that the 
fort — humph ! Considering we might have stood before 
Ehrenbreitstein instead of it — hah!" (a sigh like an 
alligator's). "My God! — that we could be so insane! 
— how any Christian being could stay a month in it ! — 
why I should hang myself in ten days, or drown myself 
in that stinking sea yonder! There is not one thing 
worth looking at — not one ! I know what you are go- 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



113 



ing to say, Beauty; but because the Crosbys and the 
Chatfields are such donkeys, and the Lord knows who 
besides, is it any reason because they don't act like com- 
mon rational beings ? But come along!" (no offer 

to stir though) " let 's go up to the market and look at 
the fish, for I suppose you know there is none to be had 
here, because it is so near the coast. To be sure, says 
you, there is whiting — and so there is at Billingsgate! 
If ever I go again to a watering-place — I believe that 's 
Avhat you call it, Maria — it shall be Hungerford Market. 
My God ! it is a madness — a perfect madness — to leave 
home and come down here to see — what ? a parcel of 
yellow slippers and pepper-and-salt dressing-gowns." 
Here he draws down his mouth, and hoists up his shoul- 
ders, till his coat-collar hides his ears. " Well, it 's too 
late now to listen to common sense. It serves me right 
for being such an ass. By the time my holidays are over, 
I shall know how to spend them ! But perhaps you like 
it better than I do, for there 's no disputing of tastes. 

" There may be something to recommend even Mar- 
gate, though An angel from heaven couldn't find out what 
it is. I know / can't, unless it 's having a drunken noisy 
vagabond overhead to keep you awake all night long. 
But I forget, my darling, you don't sleep so hght as I do 
— so much the better for you ! Then there 's his sister 

that Mrs. what d' ye call her, Tops-and-Bottoms, 

with her infernal bobbings and curtseyings and over-ci- 
vility. Damme if I know how to answer the woman ! I 
suppose, according to Margate manners, we ought to ask 
her to Grosvenor Place. But mind, Maria, when she 
calls, I 'm at Somerset House ! Come along " (not a 

H 



114 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



stump stirred yet). "I suppose we must see what is n't 
to be seen in our salt-water Wapping. All / have seen 
is * London butter,' — just think of that, Maria, — ' Lon- 
don butter may be had here.' "Why so it may in Lon- 
don without going sixty miles by sea for it ; and you, my 
darling, as sick as a dog! Spasms! I don't wonder 
you 've had spasms ; I 've almost had them myself. It *s 
the cursed negatives, and the place, rather than anything 
positive, — the utter bleakness and desolation of the coun- 
try against the stinks of the sea-shore. Lord ! that a 
man with a nose on his face should come here ; and here 
too one has to remember that there are such places as 
Coblenz ; and such a river as the Rhine. I '11 tell you 
what, Maria ! " Here he tells you nothing ; but stooping 
over his base, like the leaning tower at Bologna, he takes 
a very long pinch of snuff, and then anathematising, 
shakes the dust off his fingers against all Margate and 
all its inhabitants, present and future. 

There ! isn't that a portrait of him to the life — a cab- 
inet picture — a gem! Pray take care of it, to be a 
comfort to you when you are a widow. Perhaps I shall 
send him a sketch of you as a companion picture, for I 
can fancy you quite as vividly. If I recollect rightly you 
were at Margate before, and liked it amazingly. Be- 
tween your raptures and his disgusts I suppose you got 
up a quarrel, for I observed you say in your letter that 
" you are both getting a little more reconciled^ He 
must have been awful — and I guess it was his splenetic 
attacks on the donkeys to vent his humane notions that 
originated the notice to visitors about " wanton cruelty.'* 
Take my advice if ever you get him to Margate again 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



115 



put him up to be raflled for. And now as the Germans 
saj " ah chied ! " or as you would say " a do." 




" If these pages should be the happy means of exciting 
one virtuous impression, or confirming one moral or re- 
ligious principle, or lightening one moment of human suf- 
fering, or eradicating one speculative error, or removing 
one ill-founded prejudice, the writer will have his re- 
ward, and will not have written in vain." 
I am, 
My dear Mrs. Dilke, 

Yours ever very truly, 

Thos. Hood. 

P . S. I dined well to-day on such a haricot ! that 
I'm persuaded Jane is the best cook in Coblenz. So 
I have done the handsome thing and riz her. She had 
nothing a-year before, and I have doubled it. We got a 
Westphalia ham against the Elliots' return, at five pence 
a pound. It is the finest I ever tasted ; such a flavour, 



116 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



quite answerable to its odour, which is as unique in its 
kind as tliat of the best Eau de Cologne ! They call it 
here the " ranch," answerable to the Scottish reek ; but 
I will say no more here about edibles or you will com- 
pare me to Matthews, who began writing " The Diary of 
an Invalid," and ended a Gourmand. I should like to 
send you a real TVestphalian, but then the duty ! You 

ought to take one with you here, as Miss M did her 

sweetmeats from India; she brought a large box of 
them — preserved Lord knows what — but the customs 
demanded so much that instead of bringing them ashore 
she went and ate them all up on board herself. I had 

this from Dr. E , who was called in to her after 

"the Gorger 

P. S. God bless. 




MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



117 



CHAPTER III. 



1836. 



At Coblenz. — Letters from Mrs. Hood to Mrs. Elliot. — Letters to Mr. 
Wright and Mr. Dilke. — Accompanies the 19th Polish Infantry in 
their March to Berlin. — Letters to his Wife, — Retm-ns to Coblenz. 

— Illness. — Letters to Lieut, de Franck, Mr. Wright, and Mr. Dilke. 

— Commences " Up the Rhine." 

A T the beginning of this chapter, I have inserted the 



XJL following letter from my mother to her friend Mrs. 
Elliot, not only as interesting in itself, but also as giv- 
ing a correct history of the " trussing " of the Christmas 
pudding, to which such frequent allusion is made by my 
father in his subsequent letters to Mr. de Franck. 



My dear Mrs. Elliot, 

Your welcome letter arrived with many others in a 
parcel on New-Year's eve. 

You may not have seen Mr. Wright to hear that his 
parcel was packed up to send here, when finding that it 
was not safe to enclose the letters he had to take them 
out, and a friend of the Dilkes coming to Dusseldorf 
undertook to convey them to us ; she was detained a 
fortnight at Rotterdam, as the persons who undertook to 




372, Castor Hof, Coblenz, 28th Jan., 1836. 



118 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



put the luggage on board neglected to do so. From the 
time you left us, with the exception of one from my sister 

C , two days after your departure, and a few from 

Mr. Wright, who saw the " Comic " through the press, 
we did not have a letter from a soul ; post after post went 
by in vain expectation; first we were impatient, then 
we were angry, then astonished, and asked each other 
" Stands England where it did ? " The man used to turn 
the corner of the Nagel Strasse, and come with his hate- 
ful lemon collar to the very next door, nay, even to our 
own, but not to us. Hood was dressing to go to the 
civil Casino ball with Herr Franck when the delightful 
parcel arrived. He was sorry he had to go, and kept his 
friend waiting, while he read some of the long looked-for 
letters. 

I must now earnestly and gratefully thank you and 

my kind friend the Doctor for going to C . My 

mother's letter expressed how much comfort you had 
afforded her by that visit ; she seemed cheered by your 
good account of us, and I feel quite happy to think she 
will look on our absence with less regret now she knows 
we are going on so well. We are all well now except 
Hood, who every now and then has a slight return of 
illness and weakness, which I trust when the spring 
comes he will get over. * * * I have recovered the 
use of my eye in spite of all mis-management, but I 
suffered great pain. I had three spots on the white, or 
rather the red of the eye like seed-pearl. You will rec- 
ollect that the people here are most of them troubled 
with weak eyes. Hood says they are generally brown 
but border on red. I forgot to tell you in its proper 



MEMOKIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. ng 



place, that is to say round my eye, that I was ordered 
leeches which were applied by a sort of barber-surgeon, 
an official not now known in England. 

Hood desires me to make known the best part of his 
practice, namely, put the leeches for five minutes into a 
basin of tepid water, which makes them lively, and eager 
to bite; obviating the tediousness and trouble of the 
English method. And fortunately Hood in his candour 
ventured to approve of the plan, and drew upon himself 
the retort of " Now, Sir, you may write to England, and 
tell them how to put on leeches." But the Germans do 
not know where to put them, for he put one in the corner 
of my eye. We have since had the following bill: 
" To his Lady to put blood-suckers at your eye, six shil- 
lings," which charge, translated into English, according 
to the relative value of money, would be twelve shillings 
for merely putting them on, exclusive of the "blood- 
suckers ; " but Hood thinks the method is worth atten- 
tion, and I only mention the charge as a warning to any 
friends you may have coming up the Rhine, as a sample 
of what we find too surely obtains throughout as regards 
the English ; this man never receiving more than a third 
from the natives. 

We are getting wiser every day, and have paid for it, 
but could not have arrived at the truth without the help 
of our friend Lieut, de Franck, who is an Englishman 
by birth and at heart, but will pass for a German. It is 
too certain there is a separate table of charges for the 
English ; and the superlativest thing a countryman can 
do going up the Rhine, is to insist upon the German 
price, always a half, sometimes a third. De Franck tells 



120 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



us a major's pay is a very handsome income, and it is 
exactly £ 280 a year. As they have a certain style to 
keep up, you may imagine how cheap living is to the 
natives. 

Hood is so disgusted with their illiberality in this re- 
spect, that he likes to publish it as much as he can, 
especially as the English are the greatest benefactors to 
the Rhenish towns. I am not sure whether I shall be 
able to restrain him from going to the steam-packets, 
when they arrive with the English, to say, " Take care of 
your pockets." 

I will now give you a pleasanter subject — Hood's 
description of the ball at Casino on New Year's eve. I 
made him sit by me and dictate it. " My ticket to meet 
all the rank, beauty, and fashion of Coblenz cost me only 
twenty groschen, and it was well worth every shilling of 
the money. His Excellency General De Borstell, com- 
mander of all the Rhenish provinces, was there, and so 
was my tailor, and the man of whom I bought my black 
stock. To be sure, although in one room, there was a West 
End. The rank particularly occupied the top corner ; so 
the right-hand and the left corner next the door seemed 
to be the favourite with the snips and snobs. To do the 
latter justice, they behaved with much more decency and 
decorum than would have prevailed in such a motley as- 
semblage in London. How would you stare, too, in 
London, to see at a ball a score or two in the uniform of 
common soldiers offering their partnership to the ladies ! 
But the fact is, as everybody must be a soldier in Prus- 
sia, there is no purchasing commissions : some of the 
common soldiers are the sons of barons. The dances 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



121 



were waltzes, gallopades, and contre-danses, the last like 
our quadrilles. They mostly danced well, especially the 
waltz, which is such a favourite, that I saw girls stand up 
for it — steady-looking, decidedly serious as a Sunday- 
school teacher, whom I should as soon have expected to 
see whirl off with a young man round the room after sixty 
other couples. They made my head spin at last with 
looking at them. But the music was beautiful — excel- 
lently played. I think / could at least have flounced 
about in time to it myself. The instruments were many 
and various. They seemed never to tire of the whirligig ; 
and De Franck says, they often waltz upon those -pol- 
ished floors, similar to the Duke of Orange's you saw, 
where we can hardly walk without breaking a leg, as the 
Duke of York did. I was amused to see De Franck 
and a young lady each pull out a card or little book, and 
register something in the Tattersall style of betting ; it 
was an engagement to each other to dance together at a 
certain ball, perhaps a month to come. From time to 
time, the company refreshed themselves in a suite of rooms 
laid out with tables, each company paying for its own. 
For my own part, I got on pleasantly enough amongst a 
party of Franck's brother officers, one of whom instantly 
tendered to me a glass of Cardinal, i. e. Bishop (only 
cold), with wine, sugar, and the rind of a small green 
orange they grow here, of the size of a cotton ball, and 
which has the peculiar property, that a little too much of 
the rind in the mixture will infallibly give you the head- 
ache ! I wish I could say much for the beauty of Cob- 
lenz ; but there were only, to my taste, three or four with 
any pretensions. The great favourite was a Miss N 

VOL. I. 6 



122 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



The officers hardly reckon it a ball without her. Yet she 
is not handsome ; her nose is decidedly plain — snubby 
even ; but she seems clever, which is rare enough here, 
I guess. I had also a young wife of sixteen pointed out 
to me as interesting, but she looked too like a school- 
girl. As to dress, I always get scolded because I could 
never describe if Miss A. or Miss B. was in blonde or 
bombazeen. So you must excuse the millinery, espe- 
cially as, being all grades, they wore all sorts of fash- 
ions. 

" At last came the dance I had come to see ! Exactly 
at twelve, bang went a minor cannon in an adjoining 
room, and the waltz instantly broke up, and the whole 
room was in motion, everybody walking or running about 
to exchange salutations, and kisses and embraces with 
all friends and acquaintances male and female. Such 
hearty smacks and hugs, and hand-shakings to the chorus 
of ' Prosit neu jahr ! Prosit neu jahr ! ' Some of the 
maidens methought kissed each other most tantalisingly, 
and languished into each other's arms, I am afraid because 
so many nice young men and gay officers were present 
to see it; but then the fathers and mothers were as 
busy kissing and be-kissed. With some of the older 
folks it was quite a ceremony ; and I should think 
the demand on the sentimentals was very great. And 
there all the while stood your humble servant — the 
poor English creature — the disconsolate — the forsaken 

thp dummy — and looker-on — and what you will — 
with my lips made up and my arms empty — a lay 
figure — while the very fiddlers were hugging! Of 
course I could not kiss my tailor, or embrace the man 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 123 



I bought the black stock of. But luckily I recognised 
two young ladies I have met at the Vertue's. (You 
see I stuck to the Virtuous though Jane was not pres- 
ent.) We had never been on speaking terms, as they 
did not like to own to French far from the best quality. 
However, I convinced them mine was no better, and 
we complimented each other with a good deal of 'bad 
language.' So I went and looked a salute at them, 
which made them smile, and then the officer who had 
presented me the glass of Cardinal, came and shook 
hands with me ; and even this, which was my all, com- 
forted me. It was really a funny scene, and if you 
will give a large party on New Year's eve, and have 
plenty of beauty and fashion, I will introduce the custom 
on my return. I mean to try and draw it."* 

So much for Hood's New Year's eve. I must now 
tell you my story about the Christmas pudding. The 
Lieutenant was with us on Christmas day, and enjoyed 
my plum-pudding so much, that I promised to make one 
for him. Hood threatened to play some tricks with it — 
either to pop in bullets or tenpenny nails ; and I watched 
over my work with great vigilance, so that it was put in 
to boil without any misfortune. 

I went to bed early, telling Gradle to put it, when done, 
into the drawing-room till the morning. Hood was writ- 
ing, and says, it was put down smoking under his very 
nose, and the spirit of mischief was irresistible. I had 
bought a groschen's worth of new white wooden skewers 
that very morning. He cut them a little shorter than 
the pudding's diameter, and poked them in across and 

* This forms one of the illustrations of " Up the Rhine." — T. H. 



124 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



across in all directions, so neatly, that I never perceived 
any sign of them M-lien I packed and sealed it up the 
next day for De Franck's man to carry over to Ehren- 
breitstein. He came to thank me and praised it highly. 
I find that -vvhih; I was out of the room Hood asked hira 
if it was not well trussed, and he answered "Yes" so 
gravely that Hood thought he meditated some joke in 
retaliation, and was on his guard. At the ball the truth 
came out — he actually thought it was some new method 
of making plum-puddings, and gave me credit for the 
woodwork. He had invited two of his brother officers 
to lunch upon it, and Hood wanted * to persuade me that 
the " Cardinal " officer had swallowed one of the skew- 
ers ! Now was not this an abominable trick ? 

We have had very severe weather, and at first suf- 
fered much from the cold, for the stoves are dreadful 
and unsatisfoctory substitutes for a good English fire. 
The Rhine bridge was taken up, and the people crossed 
the river to and fro in boats. This has been inconven- 
ient to the officers who live at Ehrenbreitstein, as the 
private and public balls are numerous at this season, and 
crossing the Rhine through broken ice in an open boat at 
twelve, one, and two in the morning, after dancing, is not 
very agreeable. They attempted putting up the bridge 
again two days ago, after a week's complete thaw, and got 
it a quarter over on each side, but yesterday there came 

* And nearly succeeded in doing so, innocently assisted by tlie 
officer in question, with whom the pudding had not altogether agreed. 
As he did not know English, and my mother was not yet up in Ger- 
man, a pantomime ensued on his part expressive of indigestion, but 
construed by my father as descriptive of the agonies of an internal 
skewer. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



125 



with a storm of wind large masses of ice from other 
rivers that flow into the Rhine, and tore up the fasten- 
ings, crushing the boats, and breaking them into pieces. 
They have, however, got it up to-day again partly, and 
if fresh ice does not come, it will all be up by eleven or 
twelve to-morrow. The week before last we read an ac- 
count in a Coblenz paper that the ice had stopped at the 
Lurlei (I dare say you recollect that singular and pictur- 
esque rock above St. Goar), and that it was "mountains 
high," not having been so before in the memory of man. 
We found from De Franck everybody was going to see 
it, and we nobodies wished to join them. It was a bright 
day, clear and frosty, and I who had not before been 
above Coblenz, enjoyed the scenery greatly. We left 
here at half-past nine, and arrived at St. Goar to dinner 
at half-past one. We set off after dinner to see the ice, 
which, we were told, extended far beyond what we could 
reach that evening, having to return here. The Ger- 
mans, who are apt to exaggerate, had talked of icebergs 
not to be found, but still the sight was well worth seeing. 
Supposing you have not forgotten the Lurlei, imagine 
that narrow passage blocked up with a storm of ice ; for 
the immense pressure had heaved it up in huge waves 
and furrows, eight or ten feet high, each ridge composed 
of massive slabs of ice tossed about in all directions. At 
every bend of the river there had been a dreadful scuffle, 
and tlie fragments were thrust upwards end-ways. But 
the mighty river would not be dammed up — you saw it 
now and then in a narrow slip rushing like a mill stream 
— then it plunged under the ice and boiled up again a 
hundred yards farther. At one bend of the river a 



126 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



green orchard was covered with great blocks hurled over 
the bank, one could not suppose how. There were some 
ridges, or rather ruts, so straight and evenly shaved 
down, that one fancied some giant of the mountain had 
driven his car through the middle of the ice, and that his 
wheels had left these traces and deep furrows. But on 
considering it, Hood discovered that the middle ice had 
moved, while that on the sides was stationary, and the 
friction had worn it as smooth as if cut with a knife. 
We went to Oberwesel, part of which was under water. 
"We had not time to proceed farther, though we both 
agreed that we could have gone on, and on, and on, to 
see more. We hear that higher up a church was sur- 
rounded with masses of ice so that only the steeple was 
perceptible. The Moselle ice carried away a youth of 
sixteen, who was playing on it, and a similar and some- 
what romantic incident occurred on the Rhine. On the 
island just above the bridge resides the Countess of 
P , who walking out by herself to see the ice float- 
ing down, managed to fall in ; perhaps she was push- 
ing the loose bits of ice as the children do. Heaven 
knows what foolish process brought her to do it — but in 
she plumped ! As Hood says, " some German cherub 
that sits up aloft " brought a willow bough to her assist- 
ance, and there she hung, well preserved in ice, a good 
long spell — till a young man, the son of one who had 
been at law with the Count, her father, about some hun- 
dreds of thalers, came in a boat and rescued her. There 
has been much speculation whether the law-suit would 
be dropped by the old gentleman, out of gratitude to the 
preserver of his daughter. However, I have not heard 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 127 



the result. Unfortunately the young lady is not a beauty, 
or even interesting ; being very short and stout, with a 
coarse red complexion, and tow-coloured hair. Our 
friend says she attends the balls, and although always ele- 
gantly dressed with a jewelled order of crown and cross 
on her bosom, all agree she looks like some peasant-girl 
from the mountains — and one of the plainest too ! 
Hood foretells she will give her preserver a lock of 
her tow-coloured hair, and advise her father to proceed 
with the law-suit. This is his splenetic idea of German 
gratitude. 

I am going to intrude a double letter upon you, and 
I fear a very confused and blundering one. I am always 
very busy, and now especially so from Gradle not behav- 
ing well. Indeed she has so the upper hand of me, and 
goes her own course of late so obstinately, that we decide 
upon parting with her ! The love affair (if one may so 
degrade the term) with Joseph, the carpenter, soon after 
you left became annoying ; every evening he was at our 
door for two or three hours, and so she left us to attend 
to ourselves. When it got cold weather, and she had a 
pain in her face, she brought him into the kitchen ; at 
last he was here at all times in the day. I could not go 
into my own kitchen, but there he stood or sat smoking 
his pipe, and she would not understand that we did not 
like it ; so we got Herr Ramponi, an Italian master, who 
calls here sometimes to gossip with Hood, to say our mind, 
and she promised everything in the way of amendment, 
but her temper, as the Vertues told us, is very ungovern- 
able. She has carried on the connection, and our chil- 
dren, when she is sent to take them out, are we find 



128 MEMOEIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



always kept standing on the banks of the Rhine or 
Moselle, while she talks to Joseph, who is at work there. 
As we cannot now depend on her, and I find her very 
insolent to myself, without the power to answer or check 
it, Hood insists upon her going. 

Tom was seized with the measles, poor dear, and was 
very ill one day. It is not, they say, thought anything of 
here, but we moved his bed for warmth into Hood's 
study, kept fires night and day, and Hood and I never 
left him till quite well, which he is now, though a little 
weaker. He is an everlasting amusement to us with his 
little tricks — says "ja" and "ah chied," pronounced 
"a chee," and takes off his little black cap bowing as 
ceremoniously as a young German. We hear that there 
is going to be a very grand review of all the Prussian 
troops by the King next September ; and they half think, 
and all wish it may be in the neighbourhood of Coblenz ; 
it will be a grand sight — the pioneers will throw tem- 
porary bridges over the Rhine — the tents w^ould be 
pitched on the plain on the other side of the Moselle 
facing our back windows — there will be 80,000 men, 
and it would be only a pleasant ride from here to see 
their evolutions and sham fights, De Franck being good 
information for us where best to go. The King would 
reside (if here) in the suite of rooms that run along the 
front of the General's opposite to us; and the place 
would be very gay and amusing. Of course it would 
even tempt travellers to abide here, as such a sight does 
not offer every day. The Dilkes wrote by the parcel 
your letters came in — he was very much dissatisfied 
with their trip to Margate, and kept saying continually 
" and we might have been on the banks of the Rhine." 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



129 



Passing down Chancery Lane a month after their 
return, he heard the mistress of a greengrocer's shop 
say " that gentleman was at Margate when I was there ! " 

Our friend Franck has just been here on his way 
to the military ball at the Casino. He tells us that 
General Von Borstell has written to the King to beg 
he will have the review here, if possible, but they are 
afraid that the Minister of Finance will object, on 
account of the expense, as the farmers ask so much 
here for their crops, and the King always pays for 
the damage which is done by the troops during their 
sham fights ; they trample over everything. 

On the 11th February, the Carnival commences, but 
they seem to think it will not be a good one this year, 
it was so expensive on the last occasion, though I think 
to the sober English, the best is but mere trumpery 
and folly ; it is well, however, to see all these novelties 
before settling again at our dear English fireside, which 
I look forward to with all hope and comfort. Hood 
promises himself the pleasure of writing to Dr. Elliot, 
to whom he feels much indebted for even his flying 
advice, as it has done him much permanent good. The 
steel wine appeared to be of such benefit that he really 
missed it when he chanced not to take it, and he has 
had no return worth mentioning of his complaint. He 
says he has entirely to thank the Doctor, that in med- 
icine he is not an Infidel, and that here, for once, he 
has no double meaningless meaning, the double practice 
upon himself and his better half: he hopes the Doctor 
will not accuse him of presumption that he intends 
to practise here himself, — but only upon himself, and 

6* I 



130 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



he prays God earnestly that he may not have need 
of such bad advice. 

Hood means to go to Mayence, Frankfort, the Baths, 
&c., and also up the Moselle, to Treves (I remaining 
here with my babes), if he can, next spring and sum- 
mer — meditating a work for which he has already 
some matter and drawings, something like the " Brun- 
nens," and yet not like it; he hopes you got the Comic 
he desired to be sent, and that it did you no harm. 
Through some mismanagement of not hearing how the 
book printed, he had too much, and so some of the 
writing stands over for the next. I was very angry 
at this, who saw how very hard he worked up to the 
last. We have not received it yet, which seems odd, 
but I suppose the difficulty of sending a parcel when 
the Rhine steamers do not go, prevented Mr. Wright 
forwarding that, and also the books you so kindly sent 
Fanny, for which she sends her love and best thanks, — 
they will be a treat as her little stock is quite exhausted 
now. 

How we missed you ! Though it could scarcely be 
called a glance : as the packet went smoking down the 
Rhine, we felt as if left upon a desert island, and walked 
back to look at our untouched luncheon, sad and silent. 
We then said to each other, " What shall we do ? " and 
both agreed we must " go out a-pleasuring," — so oflf we 
set to take coffee at a roadside wine-house at Metternich ; 
we walked up a steep hill through a pretty wood, and 
took by surprise a beautiful plot of large purple wild 
crocuses, which covered an open space at the top ; they 
seemed out of place and season, and so did we. We 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



131 



brought home all our handkerchiefs full, and they lasted 
in water very long, as if for a souvenir of the day, — 
that was our last excursion from home, till we went to 
the Lurlei ; for Hood, getting better, set to work — it 
was then " all work and no play," but I do not recollect 
seeing him get through it better — he finished with good 
spirit>=, and boiled over afterwards with some droll sketches 
for the work I told you of. Talking of boiling, I must, 
in self-conceit, say that I am improving decidedly in my 
cooking, having started several things lately " in the fancy 
line." Yesterday morning I set to work very seriously 
to make some potted beef, and succeeded, little thinking 
what ungrateful jests I should draw upon my poor head 
from Hood. 

Being proud of my own fabrication, I produced it at 
tea, when De Franck came, and then commenced the 
jokes of the good-for-nothing. He asked with apparent 
interest, how it was made, and I said, " I pounded it in a 
pestle and mortar." " But, then, dear, we have not got 
one, you know." 

In short, he insisted that, like the Otaheitan cooks, T 
had chewed it small ; and as I happened, having the face- 
ache, to put my hand to my jaw at the time, it seemed a 
corroboration, of which he made full use. Upon this 
hint, he huddled joke upon joke, till we were convulsed 
with laughter, and to-day Franck declares he laughed in 
the middle of the night. Hood called it " Bullock jam," 
and when I asked him what he would eat, he rephed 
" what you chews'' To be sure, an ox here, after he has 
been in his time a plough-horse, a dray-horse, and a 
horse of all-work, might give an Ogress the face-ache. 



132 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



I have also attempted a mince-pie on a large scale, which 
was so relished that the baker abstracted half the con- 
tents before it was baked. Talking of mince-meat, the 
Lieutenant tells us a very active poison has been discov- 
ered in German black -puddings, of course from the blood 
being in a bad state. There have been several martyrs. 
This bit of information is aimed at the Doctor, — Hood 
hopes it would hit him in the stomach. 

Hood desires me to say he will write to you without 
expecting you to be a correspondent, but there is at pres- 
ent no news worth postage. He is busy collecting mate- 
rials, which Head has let slip out of his head. * * * 
Did you ever hear of bathing in malt ? It is a German 
remedy. You see written up here, " Beer Brewery, and 
Bath House," — Hood will have it they bathe in the 
beer. As you recommend porter sometimes, he sends 
you this hint, and of course, as Head insists, the patient 
will take care " to put the head under," with the mouth 
open ; pray prescribe it, perhaps an object that went in 
white and meagre, would come out "brown stout;" he 
thinks little children may be done in the small beer. 

Dr. B. is going to London in the summer, he said to 
me when my eye was bad, "In Germanee we do cure 
everything, all but Death, that is the divine law." We 
asked him how they cured the typhus fever, and he said, 
" Oh ! to be sure with cold water ! " De Franck says, 
some time back, they prescribed the same remedy for 
everything, and every pump in the place was an apothe- 
cary. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



133 



Pray accept our best thanks, and kindest regards, and 
believe me, 

My dear Mrs. Elliot, 

Yours very sincerely, 

Jane Hood. 

The steam-packets commenced coming up the Rhine 
to-day, and the bridge is up again. One seems more 
comfortable at these signs of better weather, though it 
may be long ere the DampschifFe bring any friends to us, 
and seldom that we cross the bridge. Hood and De 
Franck are talking of wonders they are to do in the fish- 
ing line (not meant for a pun). The perch are very fine 
and at St. Goar we saw the salmon jump, and they say 
they are to be caught with a line. I think Hood is lay- 
ing out for more than he will have time for : he must, if 
he has health, travel for his new book ; and then the other 
Comic will have to come out earlier if possible. 

I have been amused during my needle-hours by Hood 
reading some French books, which we get at a library 
here, but they have no more, so that the stock is almost 
run through. When I read the Athenseum I long to see 
the new books spoken of. I could relish the sweepings 
even of Mr. Dilke's study; there are several libraries 
here, but no English books. I have quite a thirst for 
new books, we often speculate on how we shall behave 
on our return to England. 

Hood's is rather a greedy style — he says he will stop 
at some coffee-house directly he lands and have some 
hread and cheese and porter, and, then he will call at Wil- 
liams' noted shop at the Old Bailey for boiled beef. 



134 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



This is shockingly John Bullish, is it not ? My dear lit- 
tle boy splutters out with much anger Gradle's washing 
of bones, with fried onions and potatoes, which she calls 
soup. The other day she took him to the butcher's with 
her — on their return while talking with her, I saw him 
looking distressed, and quite heaving with something odi- 
ous to him, and upon inquiry, I found he had got some 
brown bread given him by the butcher's frau, with fat- 
skimmings of the water they boil their sausages in, spread 
like butter upon it. I felt very angry. However he 
shows such signs of a good spirit of his own, that I think 
he will not submit to such feedings as that again. 

I hope that your dear little baby goes on well, and 
that your fine boys are flourishing around you. Willie 
must have enjoyed all the novelties you had to tell him. 

Children of intellect are delightful listeners, I think — 
only sometimes their questions are puzzling and difficult 
to answer. 

Have you seen anything of the new residents at Lake 
House ? If you have, speak of them when you write 
next. Heaven send they have the taste to leave that 
lovely garden untouched, of which I cannot help think- 
ing with regret, and also the drawing-room: the house 
has been repaired, we have heard. Pray write soon, 
remembering that your last bears date October 14th. 

Tell us all about yourselves, and the children. You 
cannot tell what a treat letters are to us, especially after 
the long famine we have endured. 

Think of this and of the poor exiles, and write, write, 
write to far Germany. I mean to be so gay as to go to 
the play here, which is three times a week. They play 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 135 



an opera called the " Zampfer," which is very fine 
music, they say ; and they finish early, which is very 
pleasant for me, who cannot depend upon Gradle's care 
of the children. 

I must conclude, as the post-time nears. Please give 
our compliments to Mr. Maiden. God bless you all. 
The best wishes of the season to you. 

Believe me ever, my dearest Mrs. Elliot, 
Your affectionate friend, 

Jane Hood. 

372, Castor Hof, 31st January, 1836. 
My dear Wright, 

We have been anxiously waiting to see our promised 
parcel, and as it has not come at this present writing, I 
have made up my mind to let you know, fearing it may 
have stuck at some of the custom houses on its way 
through. Should it have been despatched, pray let us 
have all the particulars, that I may try to recover it. 
You may, however, have heard of the ice ; if so, and it 
has deterred you from sending, I am now able to tell you 
that the ice is all gone, our bridge will be up again, if it 
is not already, and the papers announce that the Rhine 
steamboats will start for the season to-morrow. 

I have been very anxious — for except your last be- 
fore Christmas, we have only had the hack letters, and 

those by Mrs. L , which came to us on New Year's 

Eve. I long to know what luck my book has had. It 
seems odd to me not to have seen the Comic yet ; but 
judging from the fragments sent, which I had not time to 
look at before I last wrote, it is excellently got up on all 



136 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



hands, myself included. The cuts come very well in- 
deed, and the text seems very correct : quite as much so 
as / could have made it. As this is only a business 
letter, I must refer to the Dilkes for particularities as to 
our domestic concerns, they have each had long epistles. 

I think I told you De Franck is come back for good. 
He fishes, and means to fish more, in the Rhine and Mo- 
selle, as there are really good fish ; both sport and profit 
may be looked for here (where we are very badly off for 
sea-fish, even salted). Perch, Barbel, Roach, Jack, and 
higher up, even Salmon, and a peculiar fish, not English: 
rod and line fishing is free. De Franck wants a few 
things, and I want an outfit for bait fishing, I do not pretend 
to troll, or throw a fly ; do as you judge best for me. Pray 
do not forget to send me plenty of blocks, as I shall have 
much use for them — I have, however, a present supply. 
I do much wish, and almost hope you may come this 
spring. You may pay in London, per the " Batavier," 
the whole fare here, which is the cheapest way ; with lib- 
erty of staying at any place on the road a few days, as at 
Rotterdam, Nimeguen, or Cologne, and then on again. 
Sliould you come, I project some pedestrian rambles, in- 
land — to see the people and country. — I know enough 
German now to get along like He. 

I keep my health tolerably well, and hope to be better. 
The winter has tried us all with colds, coughs, face-aches, 
&c., and Tom has had the measles, but mildly. As 011a- 
pod recommends, I am taking my "spring physic" — 
(N. B. I am my own M. D.) — and mean to go into men- 
tal and bodily training for a good campaign. It is a great 
thing for us, De Franck's return, in every sense, for he 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



137 



will save us from a great deal of imposition, of which the 
honest Germans hereabout are too fond. And he is a 
very good fellow as a companion, without thinking that 
he is our only one. I must cut this short, for Franck is 
come, and we have to get him to scold Gradle, and give 
her warning. She gave us a message from her priest, 
and when we sent her out with the chicks this morning, 
she took them to church. So we mean to protest as good 
Protestants, and Jane is quite a Luther at it. My kind 
regards to Mrs. Wright, and all of your name, and all 
friends of other names. Kiss my Godson, and " Prosit 
neujahr!" from 

Dear Wright, yours ever truly, 

Thos. Hood. 

P. S. Postage is not dear. Pray let us know how 
matters go on. We have not the thousand and one occu- 
pations and acquaintances, and so on, to divert our anxie- 
ties like those of your great city : and molehills seem 
mountains. Franck swears that potted beef story kept 
him laughing all night. " Ah Chied ! " 

At Hekr Deubel's, 
752, Alten Gjraben, Coblenz, June 20i^, 1836. 

My dear Dilke, 

Many, many thanks for your letter, and the kind in- 
terest and trouble it evidences on my behalf. They are 
such as I might have expected from the best and last 
friend I saw in England, and the first I hope to meet 
again. * * * * 

We are in much better lodgings, at the same cost, 



138 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



tliough our addres?, literally translated, is at " Mr. Dev- 
il's, in the Old Grave." We are now near the JNIoselle 
bridge, in a busy, amusing street, but out of the town in 
three minutes' walk. 

We did not part with Miss Sell without some serio- 
comic originality in her struggles between extortion and 
civility. One moment she kissed Jane like a sister, and 
the next began a skirmish. First came Suspicion that, 
as we left a little before the time agreed on, we would 
not pay up to it. Satisfied on that point. Content fell to 
kissing. Then Memory suggested we had broken two 
or three old chairs and a glass, but finding we had re- 
placed or sent them to be mended ourselves, she fired a 
fresh salute. Away we went, and then. Avarice prompt- 
ing, she sent a volley of chairs, &c., we had not broken, 
to be repaired, and requested the use of the rooms. 
That promised so soon as we sliould have cleared out 
and cleaned up, she fell to compliments again ; but snif- 
fing that she meant to whitewash, repair, and brush up 
at our cost, we were obliged, in self-defence, to hold the 
keys. Thereupon she had the loclcs picked, and set to 
work, and hinted she would favour me with the bills. 
So I entered into the correspondence, and as she had 
sent Jane a quantity of notes in German, I thought it 
only fair to give her one in English, which I knew she 
must carry half over the town to get translated, and then, 
I fear, it will not be very flattering. I pointed out to 
her that she had no right to both rooms and rent, and as 
picking locks is a grave offence in Prussia, she must 
have, and had, presumed on a foreigner's ignorance of 
its laws. This has shut her mouth, and stopped the bills, 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



139 



and also the hilling. Gradle marched on the 1st of 
March (military again), and, I am sorry to say, made a 
bad end. First, as Tom didn't at all want physic, she 
showed, or let him find his way (whilst his mother was 
out) to the cupboard " wot holds the honey-pot." Sec- 
ondly, having " vained de Bibi," she did her best to un- 
vain him again, and set him roaring all at once after his 
" Mutter." Thirdly, as Fanny had the face-ache, she 
opened all the windows directly our backs were turned, 
and, having taken a fit of cleanliness, she was busy one 
day brushing down the dust from the ceiling and walls 
over Missis's gowns. She had warning for the 1st of 
March, but, as Jane is as unlucky as " Joe," * this of all 
years was leap year. It is too certain the dear departed 
made a per-centage on everything she bought for us. I 
declined to sign a certificate of honesty Vertue had given 
her, so she cast her eyes on Joseph, the carpenter, whom 
she got to marry her, induced by the fortune of a " bibi " 
two years old, and 150 dollars saved out of the 60 she 
had received from Vertue and us. Joseph's mother, 
whom he partly supported, dying opportunely the day 
before she left us, the wedding was fixed for the fort- 
night after the funeral; but, owing to some mysterious 
interdict of the priest, did not take place till a fortnight 
later. 

"We have now a servant with a seven years* character, 
and the consequence is everything is much cheaper, 
albeit she is not a good bargainer. Of course, though 
we do not quarrel, we have plenty of misunderstandings. 

* " Unlucky Joe," is the best character in my father's novel, " Tyl- 
ney HaU." — T. H. 



140 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



We have changed our butcher, and gained a penny per 
pound ; ditto laundress, and saved nearly a dollar a week. 
In short, Jane, whatever be her political principles, is a 
practical reformer; and I look on with a Conservative 
eye, lest the spirit of change should go on madly too far, 
and I be Skeltoned like the rest. 

By the bye, I do not wonder at the separation of that 

wortliy couple, the s. I should rather think they 

never met — or, at least, only like the Rhine and Mo- 
selle, which show a very decided inclination to keep 
themselves to themselves from the first moment of union. 
Jane and I, however, take the warning, and shall be par- 
ticularly careful of quarrelling, as she has not " a piano " 
to be the harmonious means of bringing us together 
again. 

As for " chimney ornaments " (except a very tall, 
long-nosed gentleman in black, remarkably like our 
English " devil," who sweeps for all Coblenz), we have 
not even a chimney-piece. The climbing boy here is 
really one of the finest men in the place. He sweeps 
the chimney, — the long iron pipes of the stoves are 
cleared by a live Friesland hen, a sort of fowl which 
has its feathers turned back the wrong way. When she 
is in the pipe a fire is made, and the heat forces her to 
make her way into the chimney with the soot among her 
rufiled feathers. She then cries *' grauchschlacht ! " which 
is the German for " all up ! " and this is at least as true 
as some bits of Yon Raumer. 

I am writing this gossip partly to amuse Mrs. Dilke. 
The barber-surgeon I settled with thus : He wrote that 
in consideration that I might not be able to afford it, he 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



141 



consented to take one dollar instead of two. To which I 
rei)lied, that I merely resisted an imposition, and should 
hand over the difference to the poor. This I did to the 
poor of Arzheim, near Ehrenbreitstein, where 280 have 
suffered from scarlet fever ; and a subscription was opened 
by public appeal from the over-burgomaster of Cob- 
lenz, and is now closed, after two months' collection, 
having raised twelve pounds ! — a smallish amount for a 
city containing a governor-general, two commandants, 
over and under-presidents, ditto burgomasters, and about 
twenty-five to thirty carriage families, and many rich 
tradesmen : but these are anything but the honest, con- 
scientious, liberal, orderly, warm-hearted, intellectual 
Germans we give the country just credit for. The 
Coblenzers have other attributes. To return to my leech- 
gatherer, I do not intend to want again either physician 
or apothecary. I am no believer in astrological conjunc- 
tions, but I must insist on a sinister aspect in that case. 
A Jew doctor playing into the hands of his brother-in-law, 
the apothecary, who has been described beforehand by 
" Gil Bias," viz. : " He goes strictly to mass, but at the 
bottom of his heart he is a Jew, like Pilate, for he has 
become Catholic through interest." 

As Jews must not be apothecaries here, and Hebrews 
do not forgive apostacy in their own brothers even, I fear 
their good understanding must be allowed to be ominous. 
Now for a bit of farce in one of the same tribe. He 
came to me to draw up an advertisement for him in 
English, on the strength of which, I suppose, he has set 
up here as Professor of Philosophy and English. 
Franck knows an officer who has learned, and he cannot 



142 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



understand his English at all. The ofTicer Avill have his 
revenge when he has to drill the Professor ! We are 
now more au fait here, but we have to fight every inch. 
I am now in health and spirits and do not mind it ; but I 
wish, for the sake of the lovely country I am now able 
to enjoy, I could come to other conclusions. I am not 
writing from spleen or prejudice, or resentment at the 
loss of money, but to give you my cool and deliberate 
impressions for your guidance; and a resident has pe- 
culiar opportunities for observation. Prejudice be 
hanged ! and I will help to pull its legs. But I want fair 
play for my countrymen, against whom there is much 
illiberal feeling, which is the more annoying, because 
Germans from other parts, who think well of us, are 
surprised to find opinion against us on the Rhine where 
it would be presumed we are so well known. As a 
sample of what I mean, there is Schreiber's sketch of 
" Die Englander in Baden " referred to in your No. 431 
of the " Athenaeum," which I wish had fallen to my lot 
to review. I would have answered him with facts. The 
charge that the rectitude of many of the English is not to 
be uniformly depended upon is a grave one, on which I 
might retort fairly from my own experience as equivalent 
to his ; and choose for my motto, in a new sense, " Be- 
ware — for there are counterfeits abroad" With few 
exceptions judging from those I have had to do with, I 
should put them in two great classes — Jew Germans, and 
German Jews. It may seem a harsh verdict, but it is forced 
upon me. As for the English quarrelling about coach- 
men's fares, &c., it is hardly worthy a traveller to squab- 
ble about petty over-charges, but extortions may become 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



143 



too gross and palpable to put up with. There is all along 
shore here, now-a-days at least, a sharking, grasping ap- 
petite, which growing by what it feeds on, has become 
ogre-like ; and knowing the English to be rich, they have 
not known where, prudently, or with good policy, to stop. 
There was a colonel here, the other day only, crying out, 
naturally, at being charged in this cheap country five 
shillings for a bed ; the landlord of the hotel in question 
chose at the Carnival to burlesque an English family 
travelling : he has told me, the English are by far his 
best customers, but the ridicule was congenial to the spirit 
of the inhabitants. The truth is, we are marked for 
plunder ; and laughed at, for the facility with which we 
are plucked, as if it were a matter of difficulty to cheat 
those, who in some degree confide in you — for we do 
generally set forth with a strong prepossession in favour 
of German honesty. I believe in it myself, but not here, 
where the very peasantry (whom I like) seem to lose it. 
The other day a woman, who used to sell us a sort of 
curd cheese, taking advantage of Fanny, who carried the 
money, took six instead of three groschen, and has never 
since put in an appearance. Again, a man, who left a 
flower for Jane's approval, who dechned it, called for it 
over night quite drunk, took it away, brought it back 
next morning, and made her pay for it because a bud 
was broken ! these two are within ten days. Schreiber 
taunts residents like ourselves with " a petty and ridicu- 
lous economy," but it is mere resistance to extortion 
directed pointedly against the English. I never will 
concede that the rule, that we are to be robbed, only be- 
cause we are, or are supposed to be, rich, is anything hwi 



144 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



a brigand feeling. Yet so it is. There is a separate 
tariff', well-understood, and tacitly acted upon, so that you 
shall see an English and Grerman gentleman sitting .it 
the same table d'hote, eating the same dinner, and drink- 
ing the same wine, but at very different cost ! It is quite 
a iVeemasonry, and the very figures in the carte stand 
for several amounts. One night we sent for a bill of 
fare for supper, and De Franck pointed out to me roast 
beef, (in English) four groschen, and directly under it, 
the same dish, (in German) three groschen. These 
things are somewhat repulsive to those who happen to 
be their guests, should they chance to find besides that 
their character is attacked as unfoirly as their purse. I 
l-now that they retail stories about us, which have false- 
hood on the fi\ce of them, such as the Bible story in 
Schreiber, which is altogether out of keeping. As to 
our getting into rows and trespassing, I used to watch 
the steamers arrival, and never saw a disturbance, but 
with a German lady, accused by the steward of secreting 
a spoon. But that Englishmen might get into rows I 
think very possible, and natural ; I expect it myself. 
The lower class, not mere thieves and vagabonds like 
Londoners, but apprentices, workmen, and boys almost 
well-dressed, are blackguardly disposed. 

Fishing has brought me in contact with them. I have 
never been without annoyance, and it is positively unsafe 
to stand within pelt of the Mosel bridge. Those officers, 
who have taken to it after our example at Ehrenbreit- 
stein, have positively had to post men to defend them 
from large sticks and stones. I hope, as the clown says, 
here be facts. Good or bad politically, the making all 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



145 



men soldiers serves to lick these cubs into human shape ; 
it makes them cut their hair, wash themselves, and be- 
have decently, in fact as Puckler Muskau says, the men, 
who have served, and those who have not, are different 
animals indeed. I wish I could with honesty write more 
in the tone of Mrs. Trollope, whose book, by the way, I 
have just read ; but although so treacley, it does not 
please the natives. Heaven knows why, for she does not 
object to one thing in Prussia, but the smoking. She is 
however, wrong. there in one point, as may be gathered 
from the pretty strong sentiments she puts into the 
mouths of the German girls against pipes. A likely 
matter when they have been used to sniff " bacly " from 
the father, who took them first on his knees, to the broth- 
er they played with. 

On the contrary, and quite the reverse, they embroider 
tobacco bags for presents to the young gentlemen as 
English girls knit purses. But so Anti-English a writer 
as Mrs. T., who never omits an opportunity of letting 
down her countrymen, might be expected to be blind to 
the Anti-English feeling abundant in these parts. There 
is no doubt of its existence, I manage to read their pa- 
pers, and the tone is the same. 

Extracts for example headed, " Distress in Hick Eng- 
land." Like "the haughty Isle of shopkeepers," a 
phrase made use of by Schreiber. 'Tis the mark of 
the beast ; they covet our riches, they resent our politi- 
cal influence, and perhaps are jealous of the distinction 
shown to the English in some of the highest quarters. 
In spite of Raumer (a jeivel by the way) I think the 
spirit enters into our commerce. 

VOL. I. 7 J 



146 



MKMOKIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



The merchant here, I had your wine of, said he did 
not hope for any reduction of our duties on their Avines, 
because the Prussian Tariff is so very unfavourable to 
us. Our goods are in request, so tliat even they simu- 
late English labels, &c., &c., but I think their introduc- 
tion is not coveted by the powers. ]\Iy little package 
was detained some time at the frontier, on the frivolous 
pretext, that the weight of every article, a fish-hook for 
instance, was not specified. I believe the tariff is also 
adverse to French and Italians ; all I know is, many of 
their products are bad and dear: say, oranges from two 
pence halfpenny to 3(7. a piece ; salad oil dear and exe- 
crable, &c., &c. And now to Schreiber again ; I take 
his for my text-book, because he represents the mass. 
Their usual ridicule of our habits, &c., might fairly and 
with interest be retaliated. For instance an Englishman 
with coat-pockets " big enough to hold a couple of folios,'* 
is no more ridiculous a figure than a German with ditto 
capacious enough for a pipe and a bag of tobacco ; but 
this far from unusual sneer at our literary and reading 
propensity is somewhat misplaced in Intellectual Ger- 
many the country of Goethe. A book here seems a bug- 
bear. I think 1 told you of the remai'k of the Jew Doc- 
tor on seeing a " Times " paper ; in the same stj'le my 
new Doctor took up the " Athenieum," supposing it to be 
a monthly. 

When I said, " weekly," he threw up his hands and 
eyes, and wondered how we found time for it. Time, 
however, is the thing least wanted here, for they do not 
live at our rate, and consequently have more leisure ; but 
it is not learned leisure," from simple want of will. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



147 



They prefer the Virginian to other leaves, — and vol- 
umes of smoke. 

The "Rhein und Mosel Zeitung" supplies them with 
abundant reading, and its standing articles, probably 
therefore favorite ones, are on beet-root, sugar, and rail- 
roads. 

Their talk is of thalers, thalers, thalers, except when 
they smoke in the hotels of a night, or at the Casino, and 
then the Quakers could not hold a more silent Conversa- 
zione. 

Galignani is prohibited, and the only English papers 
allowed are the " Globe," " Courier," and the " Albion," 
or some such name. So much for the Intellectuals. Per- 
sonally I cannot complain, for a Colonel has translated 
my Eugene Aram for his wife, having heard of it through 
Buhver's novel : Bulwer (who is a demi-god here) and 
the Pfennig Magazine, and native works on medicine 
and mechanical arts, are the main bulk advertised here, 
but I guess not much sold. Another fact, and I quit the 
subject. Tlie extorting spirit is known and admitted by 
some of the better class — Jane, at request from the other 
side, has formed a very agreeable intimacy with a Miss 

von B , who was educated at Nieuwied, and speaks 

tolerable English. She volunteered to accompany Jane to 
buy anything, saying she knew the English were imposed 
on, and informed her that her late father, a lieutenant- 
general, paid Dr. at the rate of ten silber groschen 

or a shilling a visit. He charged me forty-five, or four 
shillings and sixpence a visit, for being an Englishman. 
What follows is, I think, conclusive as to what I have 
said of a sort of free-masonry, &c. I happened to doubt 



148 J^IEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



"whether the majors and captains here could afford to keep 

up such equipages on their pay, when F referred me 

to another officer (of ancient Polish family), I have met, 
and he frankly told me that they could. But supposing a 
major with family, &c., to make a certain appearance, and 
live in a certain style on his pay 2000 dollars, I must at 
once for the same things set down 1000 more for being an 
Englishman. 

It follows that tradesmen, inn-keepers, all who have 
to do with the English, exact a profit of 33 per cent. 
extra, and yet cannot be pleased with their customers. 
Suppose some English Schreiber, in inditing a sketch 
of the German watering-places, were to adopt the por-' 
teutons text of " take care of your pockets." * Suppose 
he were to end his book with a sarcastic hint of Sir 
Peter Teazle's, "I must go, but I leave my character 
behind me ! " I give you the facts, because in the 
Athenjeum you are sometimes called upon as a judge, 
between the natives of both countries, as in Schreiber's 
case. I do not want, like Jonathan in England, " a war, 
and all on my own account," nor, Irish-like, to whiten 
the English by blackening the Germans. Above all, 
I speak only of what I have seen and know, or have 
heard from good witnesses, and my locale is Coblenz ; 
though the same thing may prevail on the other routes 

* My father enlarged on this text in " Up the Rhine," where he 
gives a song, one verse of which I extract. — T. H. 

" Ye Tourists and Travellers bound to the Rhine, 
Provided with passport, that requisite docket, 
First listen to one little whisper of mine, 
Take care of your pocket ! Take care of your pocket ! " 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



M9 



of the English, jpro ex: Baden. It is for you that I 
have set it down, and I beg you to believe, in no spite, 
or resentment, or prejudice ; but to put you on your 
guard, and prepare you for perhaps a very altered 
state of things on the Rhine, not belonging more to 
the natives than to human nature, except in degree. 
But I wished justice for my countrymen, and disclaim 
personal vengeance, though I confess to have felt irrita- 
tion. The tone of my book will be" quite otherwise, 
I know it is unwelcome to read as to write such pas- 
sages, and especially to introduce such actors on such 
a stage, with the Rhine and its mountains for the scene- 
ry. And moreover there is good and beautiful and 
whimsical to discourse of pleasantly, so pray read the 
foregoing in the same spirit that its author writ, and 
then hand over the substance of my remarks to the 
censor to be used "as occasion may require." Fair 
play is a jewel, and I like to see it set in the "Athe- 
najum. Besides I do not know your Editor personally, 
but I suspect him of a little over-leaning towards the 
Germans. I picture him with " an awful fell of hair," 
and a serio-comico-metaphysico-romantico visage, mould- 
ed in brown bread made rather heavy, a big body made 
dropsically corpulent by fattening on thin wine, and 
a pair of stout legs of no particular shape, on which 
he partly walks, partly marches, having been drilled 
when a student. Like Pope and Cowper, and others 
of the learned, he wears a cap; but with a conceited 
cock on one side, and hangs a tassel from its apex. 
On his forefinger, a huge ring with an engraved stone or 
glass, that might serve Mrs. von D at a pinch for 



150 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



a jcllymould ; and he has chains enough on his bosom 
to hang him in. His waistcoat seems cut out of the 
train of Iris's court-dress, set off by a snuff-brown coat, 
and sad-green breeches — a sort of hybrid between a 
peacock and Minerva's fowl — grave and gaudy. When 
he eats, he prefers after soup the meat that was boiled in 
it — a mere residuum — hke the patent ginless bread of 
PimUco. He seasons it with mud-coloured mustard. He 
drinks a wine so sharp, that like the " Accipe Hoc^- " of 
the Templar, it pierces your very vitals. When he is 
awake he dreams, when he is asleep he snores music, 
that, as Zelter says, by its very noise, " reminds you of 
the universal silence ! " If he look pensive it is because 
he cannot fathom the immeasurable, grasp the infinite, or 
comprehend the incomprehensible. Should he be a little 
cracked he writes — when he gets purblind he paints, 
and you have the portrait of his mistress the Muse, as a 
little old woman with red toads dropping out of her 
mouth. Poet or Painter, he tries to be sublime, and 
makes a monster a " most ridiculous monster," or rather 
a herd of monsters, and makes them act monstrously, 
like the fantastic shadows in Carpenter's microscope, 
supposing you had mixed their drop of water with a 
ditto of brandy. If he smiles, it is with the idea of 
" reading much, learning much, and dying young ! " by 
a horse-pistol with a leaf out of Bettine for wadding. 
Whilst he smokes he pastoralises ; drunk, he moralises; 
sober, he romanticises; mad, he philosophises. There, 
Wolfgang von Dilke, there 's a rally a la Randall, in 
return for your fighting me up into a German corner. 
By the bye your notices made me long to read You 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



151 



Raumer's England. It must be a capital book, but me- 
thinks he is apt to make azure of Prussian blue. Yet 
when I spoke of him here to our doctor, he seemed not 
to like him, and said he was considered a Jacobin. For 
example, too much credit is taken as to their contented 
and tolerant clergy. For instance, here, this is a Catho- 
lic province ; the magistrates and a few more Lutherans 
must tolerate perforce a whole population nearly of un- 
reformed. Prussia is formed of many provinces, some 
oughts, and some crosses, like the old game on the slate, 
and to be intolerant would be only to set one province 
against another, "hey dog — hey bull!" so that it 
would be dangerous for one party to tyrannise over the 
other. 

A thing occurred here the other day that made a 
great sensation: the priest or cure refused to bury a 
drawing-master, who professed, but had not attended, his 
church, for many years. He said he was forbidden by 
the rules of the Council of Trent. The Lutheran min- 
ister was applied to, who buried him at once, and as it is 
usual to preach a funeral sermon for each defunct, the 
following Sunday his church was crowded with Catholics, 
Jews, and all denominations, who were eager and curious 
to hear how he would treat the subject. He preached a 
good temperate sermon on the text " Judge- not, that ye 
be not judged," which made a great impression. The 
plan here, which is good, is that of both religions the 
ministers are paid by the King or State, an arrangement 
I should like for England and Ireland, — or let every 
one pay their own, as in America. As to Education, I 
think our Government does wisely not to interfere too 



152 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



rashly. Something may be left to the sense of the peo- 
ple. The infamous boarding-schools of former times are 
dying or dead, and replaced by proprietary ones without 
Government interference. If they meddle, let it be to 
reform Oxford, and the like ; and, least of all, let us 
have the School a dependant on the Church, — with a 
Parson-Usher in each, preaching and teaching German 
philosophical '* spiritualism," and "illumination and sanc- 
tification," which reaches tar beyond steam-engines and 
hydraulic presses.'' 

But even Yon Raumer is not reliable. Come lay your 
Frankfort hand, just above your Heidelberg or Darmstadt 
stomach, on your Dresden heart, and tell us with your 
jNIiinchen mouth, do you really believe the story of the 
factory boy's lament for pigs and poetry ? Did you ever 
■N^-ith your Ingelheimer eyes, on the Royal Birthday in 
London, see the innumerable children with flowers and 
flags, or hear with your Langen Schwalbach ears their 
chorus of " God save the King " ? Again did you never 
hear with your Berlin auriculars, that row of street 
blackguard boys notorious througliout Germany, and 
characteristic of the Prussian capital, which Yon R. with 
his national taste for music calls '* the prattle of little 
children '' ? 

As for his quizzes on our cookery (Mrs. Dilke, I am 
appealing to you and your old cook, who went away and 
is come back again), is English soup so sloppy that it 
must hide its weakness by a covering of pepper and 
spice ? Lord help the man ! he has been souping with 
the Sick Poor I I never saw any soup or broth in Eng- 
land but when cold was a perfect jelly, as you might 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



153 



chuck over the house." As for his pepperless rice soup, 
chacun a son gout, but was not Bedreddin flassan cap- 
itally sentenced for not putting pepper in a cream-tart ? 
What does he mean by the " monotony of our roast beef, 
roast mutton, roast veal " ? Why should not roast beef 
be roast beef, and always roast beef, like " the bill, the 
whole bill, and nothing but the bill ? " I like that de- 
cided style. Is it any better for being, as here, roast 
horse, or with rank oil, or turned butter, sometimes like 
roast " sea horse " ? Is Williams's boiled beef any the 
worse for being only boiled beef, is it better for being 
here like land stock-fish ? Is our roast veal worse than 
theirs ? — how they roast it is a culinary miracle, unless 
on a lark spit. Their seven-day calves, and seven-year 
porkers ought, according to Lamb's celebrated wish 
about his sister, to " throw their joint existences into one 
common heap ! " I defy you to eat their roast mutton 
here, without scriptural reminiscences of rams, and burnt 
offerings. And then for his sauce about our one sauce 
for fish, don't they make pickled salmon of everything 
with scales, fresh or salt, with vinegar, vinegar, vinegar ? 
As for his twaddle about Phidias and Praxiteles being 
French cooks, and his comparison of our joints to " an 
Egyptian divinity in simple dignified repose, with arms 
and legs closely pinioned in the same position ! " (he has 
mistaken a trussed turkey for a round of beef or a fillet 
of veal) I will only say a village jobbing carpenter would 
be ashamed of such a style ! Egyptian indeed ! don't 
they poison everything with garlic, and consume Egyp- 
tian wages (onions) enough to build a new set of pyra- 
mids ? Now for his Linnoeus and Jussieu, if our vege- 
7* 



154 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



tables do " appear in puris naturalibus," is it not better 
than if they were in " i;?2puris naturahbiis," full of 
" snips and snails," and the huge red slugs that crawl 
about here, in size and shape looking like live German 
sausages ! How do they dress vegetables ! Why make 
salads of them first, and then boil thfem, or vice versa. I 
do believe the " Devil sends cooks," and they are Ger- 
man ones. The French are artists, the Germans are 
daubers in cookery. They are (in all that is grub-berly) 
lubberly, blubberly, and in regard to cleanliness, not over 
scrubberly ! Was n't I nearly choked once by fishbones 
amongst a dish of fried potatoes ? 'T is fact, and did n't I 
see a starved dog refuse to take the place and portion 
of a German gentleman unexpectedly absent from his 
accustomed place at the table d'hote ? Von Dilke be 
hanged ! Catch him having a German cook at the 
Clarence ! Have n't their own doctors discovered that 
their sausages contain an active poison, and is not every 
one of their messes a slow one ? I ivill stand up for our 
English kitchen, especially now Jane is a cook in it. 
Vive Dr. Kitchener ! if he is n't dead : and an echo 

responds from Dusseldorf, veiy like Mrs. L 's voice, 

" Vive Dr. Kitcliener ! " When she last wrote to Jane 
she was watching a hash with one eye, according to his 
"oracle." Ask Head about German cookery, he says 
their sauces are always either sour or greasy, but I have 
gone a step beyond his experience, they can be sour and 
greasy too. And now for a triumphant clincher as to 
the respective merits of German and English cookery. 
There is a sort of mesalliance that occurs in England 
sometimes ; nay I know personally of an instance, for W. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



155 



C. married the woman that dressed his dinner, but I have 
now before me " Der Preussiche Staat, in alien seinen 
Veziehungon," an authentic work, and I cannot find one 
instance of a German, who married his cook. This is 
not prejudice but statistics ! But don't let this frighten 
you, Mrs. Dilke, from coming here, lest you should have 
to feast on pommes de terre frites, Jane can stew, and 
boil, and roast, and bake. You should hear her battering 
her beef-steaks, as if they were the children, or see Tom 
walk in with his little wig powdered or floured, from his 
mother-sick fit having interfered with her fit of pigeon- 
piety. You should hear De Franck congratulating her 
on her high health, or Miss von B. on her rosy English 
complexion, when the real secret is fried chops. So I 
speak not complainingly, but critically only, of the na- 
tional cuisine. 

You must come to the grand manoeuvres (end of 
August), which will be well worth seeing. Better to 
see than be horn to, say you. De Franck amused us 
much with his description of drilling the Dominies. 
Every man here must be a soldier, and two years is the 
rule ; but the school-masters have the indulgence of only 
six weeks of it. But then in those six weeks they are 
expected to become as proficient as the " two year olds," 
and accordingly they are hard at it, soldiering "from 
morn till dewy eve" — the poor sedentaries ! Franck 
described them drawn up with round shoulders, bent 
thighs, and other pedigogical attributes, so weak, and so 
bewildered ! Sometimes an unlucky Dominie mounting 
guard, has even to put up with the gibes, nay missiles, of 
his quondam scholars, whom he cannot, for once, punish. 



156 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



Is it not laughable to picture to oneself? What a sub- 
ject for me ! I must make a new revolution at Stoke 
Pogis, and let the mayor, having been up the Rhine, at- 
tempt to tbrm a Landwehr. You know the place Dilke, 
just fancy Dominie Sampson, with a musket on his shoul- 
der, standing at ease on Ehrenbreitstein. 

Pray tell ]Mr. Reynolds* what he has escaped by being 
born, as Dr. Watts says, in a Christian land. He is an 
excellent Blue, but would not turn up well with Red. 
What a " six weeks' vacation I " What a march of mind 
for the schoolmasters abroad ! It must seem to them like 
a nightmare dream, till assured of the reality, by feeling 
instead of the long llowing locks, affected here by the 
student, the bald regulation nape. The situation must 
seem as bewildering as Dr. Pangloss' with a tulip-eared 
bull puppy between his knees. Fancy Westminsterian 
Braine learning the " brain-spattering art.'' Imagine Dr. 

G mounting guard at the ]Mint, or Principal 

standing sentinel by the Regent's bomb, whistling Lawk 
a' mercy on us, sure this be not I," with a pantomime 
change, in the distance, of the London University into 
Sandhurst College. Our doctor's son is doing duty as a 
private in De F ranch's regiment, so is the son of another 
M. D., and they are under no slight apprehension of hav- 
ing to carry a knapsack at the review. How should you 
like a taste of that same ? Imagine yourself wanting to 
march in three divisions. \i\ request by Lord Hill, Holmes, 
aiul ^Ir. Jack Junk, at the same time. Fancy Wentworth 
dancing at one of his mother's genteelest parties in the 
uniform of a private of the Tower Hamlets. And what 

* My grandfather, head writing-master at Christ's Hospital. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



157 



a review you would make ; mind, not a criticism. Your- 
self, with your eye-glass, in the Rifles ; A. Cunningham 

in the Grenadiers ; Chorley in the band ; H in the 

Artillery; T a Lancer; the stout C in the 

" Light Bobs ; " and John F a " worthy Pioneer." 

Alas ! for the " Athenoeum ! " Mrs. Dilke would have to 
be a suttler ! By the bye we got our present lodgings in 
spite of the captain of the — th, who would have given 
five dollars a year more ; but his wife, a termagant, was 
well known as the "suttler," (her nickname amongst 
the military,) and our landlord would not have her 
at no price. I hope Jane won't lower his rent still 
further. * * * * 

There are some here, in appearance to the eye, 
anything but gentlemen, in the best sense of the word. 
You cannot mistake them. 

Perhaps they have got the worst attributes of the 
French Revolution, a nominal equality, which puts the 
low, base, vulgar, and rich on a false level with " God 
Almighty's gentleman," which rank I do seek with all my 
heart ; and endeavour that the English character shall 
not suffer at my hands, and though I resent, on public 
grounds, what I meet with, I am content to be a dweller 
here, whose character is to be judged by its own merits. 
But I feel the question gravely, and recommend it to 

your consideration. / may be prejudiced, but F is 

a good witness. Give me credit for honesty, when he 
tells you he as readily fights, what you may call, my 
prejudices, as those of the Germans. After all, cui 
bono, what I write ? Why, after all, I appeal to the 
"Athenaeum," because it is as free from party and prejudice 



158 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



as myself, and no more. There 's a hit for you, Big Ben, 
in answer to your " write-hander." 

Besides, it has, and must have, an influence from its 
honesty, impartiality, and ability, and therefore, with all 
my humble three dittos, I endeavour to give it the benefit 
of my views. 

W , the other officer, says the same thing of the 

Rhenishers. 

He calls them " mechant," and says they are a much 
better sort of people elsewhere. He says, moreover, that 
some Germans, lately returned from Switzerland, have 
made the observation, that the people there are corrupted 
and deteriorated, in the same way as I judge them to be 
partly here. There are two subjects which form handles 
against us, and are rather favourite topics here, — 
Ireland, — and the Duke of Wellington's remarks on the 
discipline of the Prussian army, — which have provoked 
much angry discussion. 

As for Ireland, I am glad to see there is a chance of 
righting her at last, but what a sorry figure do some of 
the Peers cut ! 

I have just got the Athenseum containing Raumer. 
He is very flattering to us in some things, but his true 
picture of Ireland gives one pain, abroad, — to think 
what foreigners must conceive of our wisdom or govern- 
ment. I doubt, however, of the wisdom of returning for 
a remedy to the good old times when " mendicant monks 
imparted their goods to the poor." He learnt to hidl in 
Ireland, seemingly. Again, I do not clearly understand 
whether the " unhappy nation that has been for four-and- 
forty years seeking for liberty in all directions," refers to 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



159 



France or England. But, in either case, I do not 
agree with his prescription of " moderation, contentetl- 
ness, and humility," by which I understand a sort 'of 
waiters on Providence, gaping for "a thrice happy 
Prussian's " condition, a " free, proprietary peasantry, — 
a contented and tolerant clergy, and well educated youth," 
at the hands of the Tories or their equivalents. But I, 
perhaps, misunderstand him, — the issue, being to be 
Murrayan, gave me the impression. The two countries 
are widely different ; what a good, absolute King can do 
here, cannot be done with us. If our peasantry were 
free and proprietary, I think they would work as hard, and 
be as contented as the Germans. But the English labourer, 
labour as he may, can but be a pauper ; and it seems a 
little unreasonable to require him to sit at Hope's or 
Content's table, eating nothing, with the same cheerfulness 
and gaiety as the barber's brother at the Barmecide's. 

They have just carried by, in procession, with boys, 
two and two, a dead schoolmaster ! Poor fellow ; have 
they drilled him to death, or is he a deserter by anticipa- 
tion ? What a new translation they have of " cedant 
arma togce ! " How would Othello's pathetic farewell 
to arms read to a Prussian Pedagogue ? Methinks he 
would have the black boy well horsed for it. Well ! 
poor * * * * is gone, and, parodying Coleridge's apos, 
trophe on the death of the Dominie, " May he be wafted 
to heaven by disembodied spirits that are no Corporals ! " 

* * * * 

I was very much amused the other day with R 's 

account of his taking an emetic. 



160 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



He says he sat for an hour expecting naturally some- 
thing would come of it, but nothing stirred. 

it agreed with him just as well as if he had taken any 
other wine than antimonial. It was rather comfortable 
than otherwise. So he had recourse to warm water, of 
which he drank about a dozen large cups consecutively, 
but they made themselves quite at home with the wine. 
Then he tried tea, — in hopes of " tea and turn out," but 
it staid with the wine and water. So he had recourse to 
the warm water again, which staid still, and so did some 
soup which he took on the top of all : and then, despair- 
ing of the case, he went to bed with his corporation un- 
reformed ! Now, was not this a tenacious, retentive 
stomach, so determined never to give up anything it had 
acquired, good or bad ; a lively type of a Tory ! It 
would make a nice little fable done into verse like Peter 
Pindar's.* 

We have had several little excursions. One to the 
Laacher Zee, amongst the volcanic mountains. We went 
on AYhit-Monday, but it ought to have been Ash-Wed- 
nesday, considering the soil of the road we went through. 
Their proper scavengers would have been Cinderellas. 
The walls and houses thereabouts are built with lava, 
and the lake itself is supposed to occupy an extinct 
crater. "What a lovely, little, secluded lake it is, em- 
bosomed in trees, and perched on the crest of a mountain, 
not like an eagle's nest, but a water Roc's." It is said 
to be, in the middle, 200 yards deep, and the water is 

* It is not improbable that the emetic was rendered innocuous by 

R 's having been long used to German cookery, which had made a 

modern Mithridates of him in this respect. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



IGl 



siipernaturally clear. We fished, but of course could 
catch nothing, though there be huge Jack and Perch ; 
in truth, as I could see my line from the top, of course 
they could see it at the bottom. There is a decayed 
church and cloisters, and the monkery and gardens afford 
delightful residence. There is also a referendarius here 
who does not care for it ; what a taste ! He is seldom 
there. It is a delicious spot. I honour the olden monks 
for the taste with which they pitched their tents. Me- 
thought as I walked in their cloisters I could have been 
willingly a Benedictine myself, especially when I saw a 
pair of huge antlers over one of the doors, — like a sign 
of " good venison within." We have booked this place 
for you to visit, when you come. Indeed, we thought of 
you, at our " champetre," and drank your healths in our 
wine, for as the " hospitallers " have quitted, we had to 
carry our cold baked meats with us. The return was 
through a country reminding me of some of the romantic 
parts of Scotland, but on a larger scale, and more di- 
versely wooded. Through mountain-passes, and by rapid, 
winding, trout-streams, we suddenly came upon Tonnen- 
stein ; a little Brunnen in a lovely glen. I asked the 
priestess (a buxom young damsel in a Cologne cap, 
which you know is somewhat like a muslin soup-plate) 
very gravely whether the water was good for a man 
" with a wife and children," and she replied as gravely 
in the affirmative, handing me a glass of huhhle without 
squeak. With wine and sugar, it drinks like champagne, 
but it is good neat. But, Lord ! what an effervescing, 
gunpowder plot of ground do we Germans live upon ! I 
scarcely seem safer than your brother at Chichester. 



162 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



Every spring beneath us seems boiling hot, or boiling 
cold. And if I was a freeholder, I should feel some 
quakings in reckoning all between the sky and the earth's 
centre as my own. I should certainly content myself 
with tilling the upper crust of the soil instead of being 
too curious in mining. Bless us all ! should our Teu- 
tonic Terra be seized with active inflammation in her 
stomachic regions, instead of the evident chronic one she 
suffers under ! If we have any living Saurians below, as 
the Kev. Kerby opines, they must be salamanders. How 
little do the infant Germans,* with an eruption on all 
their heads, dream of another that may happen under 
their feet. We have been once or twice to Lahnstein, 
a favourite resort here, on the river Lahn, where we 
have obtained the credit of fishing with " a spell," on 
account of our success ; when the old. native anglei-s 
had failed, simply because we fished at the top and 
they at the bottom. They have no notion of fly-fishing. 
The only attempt we ever saw was a Captain of Engi- 
neers gravely fishing in the Moselle with a hackle-^?/ 
and a worm, at once ; but the infancy of his art may ex- 
cuse the tops and bottoms. For the sake of Mrs. Dilke, 
I must relate two adventures at Lahnstein, the first 

almost as laughable as Mr. L 's. Whilst we were 

fishing, all of a sudden I missed De Franck, — but spied 
him at last up to his neck in the middle of two rocks be- 
tween which he had slipped in jumping from one to 
another. He made a strange figure when he came out, 

* My father elsewhere remarked this prevalent peculiarity of the 
German children's heads. It would seem to denote their Scandina- 
vian origin, as descendants of the Scalds. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



163 



— the best lay figure for a River-god imaginable, — for 
German sporting jackets have an infinity of pockets, and 
there was a separate jet of water from every one, as well 
as from his sleeves, trousers, and each spout of his 
drowned moustachios (N. B. they 're very long). He 
did not seem much improved, when, having gone to the 
Inn, he returned in a suit of the landlord's, who, though 
twice as tall, was not half so stout. However, we did 
not care for appearances, for we thought nobody would 
notice him, as it was not a holiday, and there was no 
company. But we were mistaken. The landlord's dog 
sniflTed a robbery, and knowing his master's clothes again, 
insisted on stripping the counterfeit, and was obliged to 
be pulled off vi et armis. . The landlord was very much 
distressed, and made a thousand apologies; and, to do 
him justice, was a very obliging, honest, reasonable fel- 
low, and certainly deserved to be paid better than with 
his own money ^ out of his own waistcoat pocket, by De 
Franck, as Ave discovered afterwards. This was the 
comic part, now for the tragic. In the meanwhile, Jane, 
whose legs are not so elephantine as they were, you will 
readily suppose, made shift to scramble, with Miss Von 

B , up to the ruined castle of Lahn-eck. 

Having seen everything on its old ground-floor, female 
curiosity, prevailing even over female fear, tempted them 
up a dilapidated staircase to one of the mouldering at- 
tics ; and then, how unfortunately fortunate ! some half- 
dozen of the topmost stairs caught the contagion of curi- 
osity, and paid a visit to the cellars. You may imagine 
the duet that ensued in a very high key — but as you 
know I am deaf and De Franck was more intent on the 



164 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



perch heloiv, than on the perch above, it was, consequently, 
a long hour (Jane says six) before they were rescued, 
heartily sick, you may be sure, of the local and the vocal. 
They swear they will never ascend any old ruins again, 
so I suppose the next time we shall have to hoist them 
out of some old subterranean. 

However, the event has supplied a new lay or legend 
of the Rhine — only in my version, after a lapse of half 
a century, two female skeletons were found on the battle- 
ments, with their mouths wide open.* 

These excursions have done me good every way, and 
joined to a rule of going out every practicable evening to 
fish in the Rhine or Moselle by way of exercise, have re- 
stored me to some strength. I have prospered in health 
ever since the great effusion of blood — in fact, had I 
been well bled at first, all would have been saved. My 
friends may now be easy about me — and all the rest are 
well. Jane and Fanny mean to bathe at a bath-house 
on the Rhine bridge. It is very healthy and pleasant, 
only the tow-rope of a barge took off the whole roof, and 
so frightened the female dippers, that some of them ran 
out and fainted on the bridge.f 

* My father subsequently worked up this incident into a very thrill- 
ing sketch in the "New Monthly," entitled "The Tower of Lah- 
neck." — T. H. 

t The following is a description of this catastrophe in the words of 
Martha Penny, the Winifred Jenkins of " Up the Rhine." — T. H. 

" A nasty grate barge come spinnin down the river, and by siim 
mismanagement the towin rope hung too low down, and jist ketching 
the Bath House, Avipt off the hole roof in a jiffy ! ... In course 
it was skreek upon skreek from the other rooms ; and thinks I, if tops 
come off, so may bottoms, and in that case down sinks the floting bath, 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



165 



The bath man and bath woman, concerned for their 
subscribers, very wisely restored them by carrying them 
all in again — one by one. 

I am glad you liked the wine, but you must come here 
for the next. You may drink my improvement in Art 
with all my heart — but as to my sketch, the distinctness 
you object to is characteristic, and peculiar in Spring. 

I am as clear as to that, as the atmosphere. De 
Franck and I verified that you could see the smoke of a 
pipe heyond the Moselle. De Franck made the remark 
the other day, that it was like " seeing through a glass." 
In fact I have once or twice neglected my spectacles 
from not feeling the ivant of them. You must see it to 
believe it I grant. Why I almost fancy myself an eagle, 
or at least a Dollond, as I look along the mountainous 
horizon with the minutest shrubbery defined on it. I 
recollect, especially last year, when I came up the Rhine 
I felt almost that I had seen gnomes and fairies — the 
people at work on the face of the mountains looked so 
distinct and yet so small, they appeared literal dwarfs — 
for want of that medium mistiness which ordinarily sig- 
nifies distance. The only conviction you had, sensually, 

and we 're all drownded creatures as sure as rats. So out I run on to 
the bridge of boats, jist as T was, with nothing on but my newdity; 
but decency 's one thing, and death 's another. The rest of the bath- 
ing ladies did the same, and some of them, pore things, fainted ded 
away on the bords. Luckily none of the mail sects was passing by, 
for xcept won Watex-loo blue bonnet we was all in a naturalized state 
like so many Eves. . . . Thank Gudness, there was no wus harm 
done; but Catshins says, wen the roof was took off, I ought to have 
crost myself, and, to be sure, so I ought — as well as said Sanctus 
Marius, instead of Criminy ! " 



166 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



of their being so remote was from the silence : jou saw, 
but you could not hear, the blows of their pickaxes, etc. 
The effect is really miraculous. My eyes seemed well 
washed with fairy euphrasy ; methought, what a pure 
element it must be that we German fishes now swim in ! 
as good for the lungs as the " Lung Arno." Some of us 
find it too pure if taken neat, and so mix it with smoke. 

N. B. The defunct, lately carried by with " dirges 
due," was not a schoolmaster, but a butcher, whose widow 
had borrowed the boys to give eclat. The Spanish gen- 
eral, Spinola, died " of having nothing to do," and I sup- 
pose Lent killed the Flesher. That same Lent was a 
horrid invention, at least for inland towns. I hope it is 
not the bad fish, but they are dying here on all hands, — 
two or three children a day. Thank God, we seem in a 
little Goshen, all well ! But we have had an omen, at least 
equal to a raven on the <;himney-pot. The children are 
just come in from a walk, and a strange doctor stopped 
Fanny, and talked to her in the street ! 

* * * * 

I have never had any of the vulgar insane dread of the 
Catholics. It appears to me too certain that they are de- 
caying at the core^ and by the following natural process : — 
men take a huge stride at first from Catholicism into Infi- 
delity, like the French, and then by a short step back- 
wards in a reaction, attain the juste milieu. You see I 
philosophise, but it is in the air of Germany; only I do 
not smoke with it. 

I cannot help agreeing with Von Raumer about Eng- 
lish music ; I am deaf and have heard as little good as 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



167 



he ; but why sneer at our buying better^ if we purchased 
Italian, we paid lately the same compliment to the Ger- 
man. I believe in their " real music," but as to their 
"real song" I have a creed that the "sickly sentimental- 
ity " is as much a characteristic of the best German as 
the worst English. As for our painters, whom he de- 
spises, let him show me a German Turner (except of the 
stomach), a Stanfield, an Etty, a Stump, a Gump. They 
are as unheard of as our musicians, except a notorious 
German, who daubed for George the Fourth. But when 
were the German artists pictorially great with pen or 
pencil ? Fuseli represented both classes. In their sub- 
limest they introduce the ridiculous, whereas a real gen- 
uine Kentuckian in his ridiculous approaches the sublime. 
I would rather, as to style, prefer the last. Fair play 's a 
jewel: if you want examples, I'll give them to you out 
of Goethe himself. We had a specimen of their fine arts 
yesterday, on a flag carried before a funeral : on one side 
was a Virgin and Child, both dark, mulatto, as if inclin- 
ing to Lord Monboddo's theory that Adam was hlack, or 
half-and-half — whereas, on the other side was a bishop, 
in pontificalihis, blessing three little children in a literal 
washing-tub,* washed as fair as an English mother could 
desire — as Jane, for instance. This is fact, and it is as 
fair to judge from it as from the drawings of lap-dogs and 
poodles at our Society of Arts, an imbecility long since 

* This was a representation of St. Nicholas restoring to life the 
*' Three Young Men of Noble Family," who got into a literal pickle, 
vide legends passim. St. Nicholas was the favourite saint with us chil- 
dren, for, on the eve of his day, we used to put our shoes outside the 
bedroom door, and his Reverence was believed to have filled them ia 



1G8 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



marked down as a subject for the '* Comic" — with that 
void Aiken, at its head or tail, whom Coleridge used to 
compare to an Aching void ! " Apropos of Art, in the 
palace here ; in the concert-room, there was to have been 
a series of frescos from the " Last Judgment " of Rubens, 
very appropriate supposing the orchestra all trumpets. 
But as the laws of acoustics only had been neglected, the 
concert-room was abandoned, and it is now devoted to the 
sittings of assize, when the frescos would be of some 
relevance, and accordingly they are not there. I have 
this on the authority of Schreiber, the guide-man, noticed 
shortly before Raumer, to whom I owe a grudge and will 
pay it. As the Americans say, if ihej poJce their fun at 
me, I will poke again. 

* * * * 

I am hard at work at my Comic," somewhat puzzled 
for subjects, as most of my foreign ones must go to the 
German book, which I want to make as good as pos- 
sible. 

I do get the " Athenteum," though somewhat more 
tardily than formerly, and it is a great treat. It oright 
to be very successful. We admu-ed much the articles on 
Talfourd's Ion," and Taylor's political book : my mind 
misgives me they are yours. Pray write as often as 
you can. Jane desires me to say she longs for Mrs. 

the r.iglit witli the toys, &c., we discovered in tliem the next day. I 
believe, but won't confess to any experience, that a child who had 
been naughty, generally found a rod in his slipper in lieu of the toys. 
It is almost to be wished that the German tree, had brought over the 
St. Nicholas* day custom with it as a branch institution. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



169 



Dilke's promised letter. As for myself, you will not 
soon have some more last words. But I do live in hope 
of meeting you bodily this autumn, and would write a 
whole " Athenoeum " (a double one) to help you out. 

Methinks fat as most of the company would be, we 
should almost talk ourselves into consumptions. Mind, 
no more Margate ! If I chalk all along the dead wall 
in Grosvenor Place, it would be, " Ask for Coblenz," 
" Try the Rhine," " Beware of Dublin," " Inquire for 
Alten Graben!" 

We often fancy ourselves in your family circle, and 
wish you could take a stick to it, and trundle it over here. 
Pray remember us kindly to everybody, to William and 
Wentworth, and the rest of the family, " by hook and by 
Snook'' Desire Fanny Staunton to add moustachios to 
my portrait, and put a pipe in my mouth. 

Jane goes all lengths with me in her love, and so does 
Fanny, and so would Hood jun. if he could, as he should. 
The manoeuvres will begin the last week in August, and 
then the King will be here ; so, dear Mrs. Dilke, mind 
you keep Dilke in marching order. I have only post 
time to add God bless you all in my more serious style, 
which some prefer to my comic, and Jane says Amen 
religiously, though she has fished of a Sunday. She 
denies it, and I believe it is an error — she only went to 
an equestrian play. 

Mind the address — as the quacks say — of, Dear 
Dilke, 

Yours ever truly, 

Thomas Hood. 

VOL. I. 8 



170 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



I forgot to mention that the soldiers have an odd- 
sounding mode of suicide. As hall is hard to get at, they 
sometimes shoot themselves •with tvater, — ^Yhich blows 
the head to atoms worse than shot. Now for something 
in the grand style. One fellow in the true spirit of the 
German siihlime, did it with a forty-eight pounder, and 
went off with eclat. How proud some Charlotte must 
have been of such a "NVerter ! 

752, A1.TEN Grabex, 12ih July, 1836. 

My dear Dilke, 
You will wonder at hearing from me so soon again, 
but it is a broken day, and an epistolary one, as I have 
other letters to write — and perhaps the French letter 
will be worth the postage ; and, above all, I have a posi- 
tive pleasure in writing to, as well as receiving letters 
from you. You see I can make as many good excuses 
for writing, as others for their silence. But the truth is, 
I have not many correspondents, nor many conversables ; 
so that I select you, both to write to and to talk to on 
paper — for fear I should die of that most distressing ol 
complaints, a suppression of ideas. I do not, however, 
though I am in Germany, pretend to open a regular ac- 
count of debtor and creditor, and expect you to liquidate 
every letter of mine, as if it were a foreign bill of ex- 
change, by an equivalent on your own side. I know 
your time is too valuable to be so drawn upon, and so is 
mine too ; but, then, for me to write to you is matter of 
recreation. You have too much of that of which I have 
too little — society ; so that if I choose to call on you, or 
leave my card, i. e. letter, I do not peremptorily expect 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 171 

your returning my visits. Now we understand each 
other; and should you ever tire of my billets, you can 
give me a genteel cut, by returning my last under cover, 
which ought to be equivalent to " not at home ; " or you 
can get Mrs. Dilke to make spills of them, for I hate my 
writings to be of no use to any one ; a case, I believe, 
peculiar to my " Plea of the Fairies." I had, I remem- 
ber, to bid myself for the waste, for fear of their going 
to the book-stalls. So you can publish my letters if you 
do not like them, and trust to my buying up the remain- 
ders. 

We are all well — as well as the heat, that is to say, 
will let us be. But we never had, as apparently all the 
world has had, a stranger season. First, a long, cold, 
wet spring ; and then, all at once, out of the ice-pail into 
the frying-pan, like preserved fish. Our powers of con- 
traction and expansion were well tried. I am, as you 
may guess, not strong, and wonder I did not become lit- 
erally /na6/e. At mental work I sat in a room (always 
in shade) with the glass at 80 ; and at bodily work at a 
true African heat. 

We went one day to see the Royal Iron-works at 
Sayn, and really, with all the great furnaces and the 
ladlefuls of glowing red liquid metal, the process going 
on under a roof, the sun seemed to heat the fire, without 
any great bellows. 

One day, while fishing at Lahneck, De Franck and I 
pursued a trout stream till it ended in what I have sev- 
eral times observed about here, where there is water. 
There was a sort of earthy cauldron sloping down, al- 
most a regular circle, till you came to a level surface of 



172 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



meadow and water, as the Laacher Zee. The whole 
country is volcanic — tremendously so, if you think of 
all the hot springs — a real Solfaterra. Extinct crater, 
or not, I felt boiled dry in it, till I longed to plunge into 
the clear little stream before me, so cool, so clear; but prob- 
ably it would have been my death ; for, do you know, trout 
live here in rivers too cold for any other fish, and we 
caught nothing but trout, nor has anybody else. How- 
ever, in this beautiful picturesque bottom I almost devilled 
myself, without curry or cayenne — in spite of a queer 
brown holland smock-frock, garnished (as the Germans 
cannot do even simplicity without a flourish) with a flow- 
ing brown holland frill ! It was one of their sporting 
costumes, lent me by De Franck; and whilst wearing 
this, and he in another like thereunto, we had deposited 
our ordinary coats at a house in the village. And here 
note, for I wish to be just, that the conservators of our 
said coats would not, without the greatest difficulty, ac- 
cept a doit — I ought to say a groschen — for their 
trouble, although Germans, and Jews. I had, perforce, 
to give it to a poor sick boy, as an excuse for leaving it, 
and whom I singled out with a sort of Irish philanthropy, 
to prove we are all Christians. I wish I could hope to 
give him another little piece of had silver (you know, of 
course, the washed, or rather unwashed face of Friedrich 
Wilhelm on our Prussian coinage), but he seemed des- 
tined to abstract a unit from the gross sum of the twelve 
tribes at present in existence. Set this oflf against my 
last picture of the people of these parts, and lament with 
me that you must go from the Rhine to meet natures that 
correspond with its natural beauties. Perhaps I am 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



173 



wrong; I know you think I am prejudiced, but I think I 
am not. Every day fresh fuels, not fancies, corroborate 
my views. You will find a new one in my notice of M. 
The imposition, I know, was made light of, and made a 
joke of even, as against the English. 

I could quote political reasons for this jealousy, which 
certainly does obtain, besides more private ones. Name- 
ly, under the heads of free trade, probable union of 
France, Belgium, and England against the Holy Family, 
alias Holy Alliance, which I guess is a main head and 
front, besides avarice and envy, and most exaggerated 
notions of our wealth. I am translating a serious tale, 
illustrative of England, from the " Zeitung," where a 
lady of Euston Square olfers £ 50,000 per annumy a 
mine in Cornwales,'' and £20,000 in "East India Ac- 
tions" (? shares), as a reward for finding her lost child. 
The lady dies — the King's carriage and all the nobility 
go to the funeral ; the will bequeaths all her property to 
the Jlnder, and nothing to the child; and the said child 
is eventually found by a dog called " Fog " ! Imagine a 
London fog finding anything ! And these are " Sketches 
of our Manners," gravely written and read on the Rhine 
— one of our thoroughfares ! ! It will make a good chap- 
ter in my book as a German exercise ! 

m * * 

752, Alten Graben, Coblexz, 2^th October, 1836. 

My dear Mrs. Elliot, 

* * * * 

You will be surprised to hear that Hood* is at this 

* In the beginning of October, the 19th Polish Infantry were ordered 



174 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



present writing, at, or near Berlin — from thence he goes 
to Kiistrin, Frankfort-on-the-Oder, Breslau, Dresden, 
Frankfort-on-the-Maine, and then back to Coblenz. Mr. 
De Franck's regiment, the 19th, has been ordered from 
here to Bromberg, and he proposed Hood's joining their 
march as a friend of his. As it was his intention to travel 
for his German book, this affords the best opportunity. 
He would see parts of the country which are not common 
to travellers ; he would have the advantage of very pleas- 
ant companions, and the help of ISIr. De Franck's Ger- 
man, who speaks it as well as a native — and Hood 
therefore very gladly accepted the invitation. The regi- 
ment marches fifteen or twenty English miles per day for 
three days, and then rests one. Mr. De Franck advised 
Hood to buy a horse to go with them, and when he wished 
to return, he could sell it and come back by diligence. 
He was so fortunate as to meet with a good one, with new 
saddle, bridle, and all, for seven pounds, ten shillings 1 As 
he could not start with them, Mr. De Franck took the 
horse ^vith him, and they arranged to meet at or near 
Eisenach. I must tell you that all the officers very polite- 
ly expressed much pleasure at his going with them. The 
Captain desired the Quartermaster to arrange quarters 
for him with De Franck. The Colonel, who has trans- 

to march to Bromberg, and my father was induced, by the invitation 
of his friend Franck (and indeed of all the officers of the regiment), to 
march with them. My mother's letter is put a little out of date here, 
in order not to interfei-e with the continued narrative of my father's 
letters. These were almost the last of my father's days of health, and 
henceforward — although there have been occasional mentions of ill- 
ness before — the letters will record the gradual but sure decline of 
it. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



175 



lated his " Eugene Aram " into German and is a very 
clever man, sent him a handsome message and invitation. 
Knowinoj that Mr. Dilke could not leave London for lonf^er 
than five or six weeks, it had been settled that I should go 
with Hood as far as Eisenach, and they would not suffer 
us to alter this ; so leaving them here, Hood and I left for 
Frankfort on the 11th of October, and reached Eisenach 
on the 13 th. We stayed a night there, and went to 
Langen Seltzers the next morning, expecting to find 
Mr. De F., but his battalion was quartered in a vil- 
lage near, and we had to go on there. We found him 
in the house of a Saxon peasant, or rather farmer, 
for they seemed well to do, and had five or six fine 
cows. We had their two best bed-rooms — good sized, 
and nicely furnished — only we were obliged to go 
through one to the other. The first had two beds for 
Mr. Franck and a brother officer, and the inner one, 
which was also the sitting-room, had one for us : this was 
rather unpleasant, but if I had been a Princess I could 
not have commanded any better, so I treated it in the 
best manner I could. Our friend had been out and shot 
a brace of partridges in the morning, and the Polish offi- 
cer, his comrade, undertook to superintend the cooking 
them for supper. I had brought tea with me, but had 
some difficulty to find a substitute for a teapot, and the 
luxury of teaspoons was quite unknown, and Hood* 

* My father was very ingenious in this way, and had a knack of 
" cutting and contriving," of which we possess many evidences. 
While in Germany, he bought a small toy theatre for us, and then 
(and subsequently at Camberwell, during an illness) drew, painted, 
and cut out the characters and scenery for a tragedy (Paul and Vu- 



176 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



carved one out of a bit of pine wood. For supper, they 
brought us a brown dish of potatoes, boiled in the skins, 
another dish of boiled eggs, some butter, and a large 
brown loaf, so the birds were a nice addition. After sup- 
per, the host and his wife came to inquire if we had been 
comfortable — they w^ere unused to entertain such peo- 
ple, but they had done their best. The man then pro- 
duced a bottle of spirit (very like Scotch whiskey, with a 
peat flavour even, made from rj^e), and offered a glass to 
each, first shaking hands all round. The wife, in the 
course of the evening, had brought her baby in her arms, 
and a beautiful little fat thing it was ; and Hood desired 
Franck to tell the father how much we admired it — that 
it was so fat, we could not ask for all, but would like to 

glnia), a spectacle (St. George and the Dragon), and a pantomime. 
The figures were very clever, the groups and processions capitally ar- 
ranged — and the dragon was a dragon ! Some of the scenes, such as 
the planter's house, and the cottages of Slargaret and JIadame de la 
Tour, are gems of effect and colour. Two moonlight scenes are very 
good too — the grave of Paul and Virginia, and the Palace in St. 
George, where a (tinsel) torchlight procession by water wound up the 
play. The whole, however, cannot be described, and must be seen to 
be appreciated. On high days and holidays this theatre used to be 
brought out, and my father used to perform the pieces to the delight 
of the little friends (and big ones too) who were present. He used to 
extemporise the dialog-ue, which was considered by the elders, who 
were better judges than we children could pretend to be, very lively 
and apt. His stage management, properties, and machinery were 
capital, and I can still remember the agony with which I used to see 
the -mreck in Paul and Virginia break up by degrees, and the bodies 
of the lovers washed in over the breakers. In addition to these means 
of evening entertainment, he had a magic lantern, for which he paint- 
ed a number of slides, some humorous, and some pi'etty ones — a flight 
of doves and swallows with a hawk, and a little cottage in the snow, 
with a " practicable " regiment marching over a bridge. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



177 



have a part of it. We thought the man's answer very 
ready : " Tell the gentlemen, that I speak like the mother 
to King Solomon, I cannot suffer him to take a part, I 
would rather present him the whole of it ! " As you may 
suppose, this was all very new and amusing, and we were 
very merry, only Hood complained at times of pain in the 
side ; still we thought he would be better in the morning, 
and that it proceeded from over-fatigue. But his night 
was very restless, and when he rose, the pain was so 
great that we found he would not dare to venture on 
horseback ; so we made a fresh arrangement, to go and 
stay at Saxe Gotha, at a quiet inn we had called at on 
our way, and that he should again meet the regiment on 
the next Tuesday at Halle, supposing him to be better 
for care, rest, and nursing. This all turned out to our 
wish ; the pain proceeded from cold in the muscles of the 
chest, and he was soon well. 

On Sunday, at twelve, I left him to return here, for I 
was to have been with the Dilkes at Coblenz, on that 
day. He saw me off from Saxe Gotha — but when the 
diligence arrived there, it was full, and as six passengers 
were there who had taken places, the conductor placed 
us " extras " in two " post waggons " as they call them, 
and Hood went away quite pleased at my going so com- 
fortably. But alas! this was not to continue ; after two 
stages they brought out an old, old diligence, in which 
they placed five gentlemen and myself. At Vach, where 
we supped, having quickly finished mine, I went out to 
get into the coach, and found a smith mending the wheels, 
and listening with all my German ears, heard the con- 
ductor ask if he was sure it was strong. This was 

8* L 



178 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



enough for me — but I was too timid to communicate all 
this in bad German to the others ; so I sat nursing my 
fears " to keep them warm," in most profound silence — 
suffering a womanly martyrdom. Of course I was not 
surprised, though dreadfully frightened, when the crash 
came. About eleven o'clock, when we had got to the 
top of a steep hill, and so, fortunately, were going slowly, 
the wheel came off and we were turned over ! The 
young man opposite me scrambled out (we were upper- 
most) at the window; he did not tread upon me, but this 
was my luck, not his care, for he evidently only thought 
of himself. As soon as he was out, some one looked in 
at the window, and holding up my hands, I begged him 
to help me, but I soon repented this ; for, seizing hold of 
my wrists, he began to pull me out " by force of arms " in 
spite of my entreaties, which being in English of course 
he did not understand. I really thought he would break 
them, for my whole weight was hanging, and I could not 
find anywhere to fix my feet against at the side. At last 
he dragged me out upon the top, and there I seemed 
likely to remain, for he went to help out the rest, and I 
stood trembling, bruised, and crying in the utmost dis- 
tress, when I heard a voice from the road say, " Don't 
be alarmed, let me assist you down." " Thank God ! 
that 's English," I said, and I was almost ready to jump 
into the gentleman's arms for very joy, as I was after- 
wards compelled to do for very help, for it was only 
by his lifting me from the edge, that I could reach the 
ground. He then went to search for my bag, which held 
my passport and my shawl. It was, most fortunately, a 
lovely moonlight night: darkness would have added 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



179 



much to my horror. I found I had a blow on the back 
of the head, and one on my right shoulder, but I came 
off better than others ; one poor man was Sadly cut 
about the face and head, and another had his arm very 
much hurt. My English friend now having found my 
bag and shawl, proposed placing me in a britzka, in 
which a German and his valet were travelling, but who 
had stopped to assist. But the old gentleman did not or 
would not understand, and I said very proudly in Ger- 
man, that I would rather stand there than trouble him. 
Upon this he was very pressing, and insisted on my 
getting in, but the diligence being near in which the 
Englishman was a passenger, I very soon exchanged my 
seat for the only vacant one there was in it, and went all 
the rest of the way in it to Frankfort. The other unfor- 
tunates were taken on in post waggons, and were twice 
overset again — not arriving at Frankfort until four 
o'clock — we got there by one. 

I went from Frankfort to Mayence that evening, and 
on Tuesday morning came in the steamboat down the 
Rhine. It Avas a beautiful day ; and though too rapid, I 
think the Rhine is much finer to come down, you see it 
with better effect, than to go up it. 

* * * * 

You of course have heard of our grand review. There 
were such preparations for it, and so much talk before- 
hand, and every village round Coblenz, as well as the 
Stadt itself, so crammed with military that we did expect 
something prodigious," but the weather was miserable, 
and we were a leetU disappointed ; still it was such a 



180 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



sight as I never witnessed before, and shall not again. 
The Lager, or Camp, was erected at the end of August ; 
but the three or four grand days were about the middle of 
September. The Crown Prince was here three days to 
review them ; but I thought the two days' " sham fights," 
after he left, by far the most interesting. The Camp was 
erected on the large plain on the other side of the Rhine 
and Moselle, between here and Andernach. There were 
booths for the sale of fancy goods, for refreshment, and 
for dancing, theatres, horse-riding, &c., and one large one 
called the Officers' Booth, where they dined always. In 
front of these tents was a range of kitchens for the sol- 
diers at short distances from each other, a quarter of a 
mile in length. Behind these were the tents for those 
troops who could not be disposed of in towns or villages. 
To those who had only seen at a theatre the representa- 
tion of a " tented field " this was a beautiful sight, and 
the lovely green hills that bound the plain on all sides 
added to the fine effect of the scene. 

We engaged a carriage early, knowing the Dilkes were 
coming, and were so lucky that we paid for the four days, 
what others paid for one; but poor Mr. Dilke's illness 
quite spoiled the enjoyment, though they insisted on our 
going, as we had promised to take a young lady with us. 
It was unfortunate, too, that what we had reckoned on as 
an amusement, viz., that we live in the street that leads 
to the bridge, turned out a source of annoyance to our 
poor friend, on account of the noise of the carriages and 
troops going in and out. On the last day but one. Hood 
and I and Fanny went to see the taking of Bassenheimer, 
a village seven or eight English miles off. The stupid 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



181 



people of Coblenz having seen the troops reviewed in 
order, and the Crown Prince, did not care to go to see 
this, so ours was the only party present. We followed 
what seemed the successful and advancing army, but on 
gaining the brow of a hill our troops began to retreat, 
and we saw the enemy coming out of a dark fir wood, 
and steadily marching up the ascent. Our situation was 
very advantageous for seeing the manoeuvres, so we drew 
a little to one side and allowed them to pass us : it gave 
me a very excellent notion of a battle : the tramp of the 
feet, the measured beat of the drums, and the firing of 
the skirmishers was truly exciting. I wish Hood* was 
here to give you a description, for on talking it over with 
Franck, he was astonished to find how clearly he had 
seen it all, and pointed out how one side lost the vantage 
ground, and ultimately was conquered by that oversight. 

Mr. de Franck told us that sometimes the soldiers 
get so excited the officers are obliged to interfere, or 
it would be fighting in good earnest. When we were 
setting out to return, we saw a man lying on the road 

* This review, no doubt, was the origin of a game of military ma- 
noeuvres my father siibsequently made for us. He got some common 
wooden toy soldiers, and painted them proper colours, putting feathers, 
epaulettes, and all other necessary accoutrements for officers, band, 
and privates, with colours and tents for each regiment. The whole 
formed two armies, which acted against each other by certain rules, 
not unlike chess, and the game was won by the general who took the 
best position. The two armies were supplied with cannon and cais- 
sons, baggage-waggons, and all requirements. The field was supplied 
with bridges, churches, villages, and forts — all little models. The 
game was a most ingenious one, and afforded us much amusement, 
and was gi-eatly admired by my father's friends who saw it. This is 
another instance of the trouble and time he spent in finding amusement 
for his children. — T. H. 



182 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



side, with a surgeon attending him, and Tve found he 
had heen shot through the arm, near the elbow, with 
a stone. The men stuff grass and earth into their guns 
(though of course against orders) to make a loud report, 
and sometimes they even put in stones. On hearing 
that he must wait till they got a cart to take him to 
the hospital, we offered to bring him, which they gladly 
accepted. Hood mounted the box and they placed the 
poor man by me, giving me drops to put on sugar to 
keep him from fainting. The road was very bad, and 
he suffered sadly from every jolt of the carriage. I 
never had so miserable a ride from nervousness and 
anxiety at seeing him in such pain. We heard after- 
wards that the grand people here thought we ought 
not to have taken him in, and that we had degraded 
ourselves, as he was only a private. The officers were 
of a different opinion ; but said they were sure the other 
party would not have condescended to inquire about 
him at all, when they had seen he was only a common 
soldier. So much for the pride of the " Yons " — in 
our country, thank God! it is a matter of course to 
afford help in such a case. "We have only once heard 
of the poor man since, as they will not admit strangers 
or even answer messages at the hospital, for fear of 
the men's friends sending them money. Mr. de Franck 
called once to inquire for me, he was then in bed, and 
his arm swollen to a great size — I have now no means 
of hearing more of him. 

* * * * 

We have had some snow lately. I am afraid this will 
retard Hood's progress, for he will not venture on more 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 133 



than he can feel secure about getting back again, for 
every step he takes is further north. 

* * * * 

We have great hopes of returning next year to Eng- 
land, if it please God to continue Hood's health, which 
of course so much depends on, indeed, all of comfort and 
success ! The hope of seeing my dear friends and native 
land again, renders the prospect of the next winter here 
not quite so cheerless. I fear we shall miss our friend 
Franck very much, both his society and his many friendly 
acts, and also his assistance in speaking German, for we 
are both of us rather dull in acquiring it. I quite pine 
after English books, and fear when I return I shall feed 
too greedily, like a famished man, and so not benefit till 
time gives me a more healthy appetite. What a loss the 
musical world has suffered in the death of poor Mali- 
bran : I was very sorry to hear of it, she was a beauti- 
ful singer, and an admirable actress. Hood has been to 
the Opera at Berlin, and saw " Undine ; " it was very 
well done he says, and all the Royal family were pres- 
ent. The theatre here is wretched, and the actors too 
bad to laugh at even. 

* * * * 

With best love to you all, believe me to be ever, my 
dearest Mrs. Elliot, 

Yours affectionately, 

Jane Hood. 

The following are extracts from my father's letters to 
his wife, during the march. 



184 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



GoTHA, mh October, 1837. 

My own dearest and best, 

I send you a packet for Bailj : the " Love Lane " is 
longer by some verses, so send the present copy : so 
much for business, and now for the pleasant. 

We parted naanfuUy and womanfully, as we ought. I 
drank only half a bottle of the Rhine wine, and only the 
half of that, ere I fell asleep on the sofa, which lasted 
two hours. It was the reaction, for your going tired me 
more than I cared to show. Then I drank the other 
half, and as that did not do, I went and retraced our 
walk in the Park, and sat down in the same seat, and felt 
happier and better. Have not you a romantic old hus- 
band ? To-day I had some pain, but I had written hard, 
and I resolved at dinner, out of prudence, and to set you 
at ease, to ask for advice, when good fortune engaged me 
in English conversation with a young German physician, 
a capital fellow ; and over a bottle of champagne between 
us I frankly asked his advice and stated my symptoms. 
He jumped at once at the cause, and asked if I had trav- 
elled long in one position, &c. I gave the history of our 
journey, and he said it was nothing but what I had sup- 
posed, a cold in the pectoral muscles from that night in 
the coach. I am to wear flannel on the chest, and that 
is all ; there is nothing to apprehend. As this coincides 
with my own views, I hope it will set you quite at rest 
on the subject, and that you will thank me for putting it 
out of doubt. He was a nice fellow and we are to meet 
again at Berlin. I go off to-night at seven, and have lit- 
tle time. I think you will like the " Desert Born." 

I hope you got home safe and well, and found all so. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



185 



Kiss my darling Fanny and Tom for me over and over. 
Kindest love to the Dilkes if they are with you. I have 
a world to say to them and you (my next will not be so 
hurried). I must keep my terrestrial globe of talk to 
some other time. Take care of yourself. 

Kiss the dear children for me, and believe me, 

Ever yours, 

Thomas Hood. 

23rd October. 

My 0V7N DEAREST AND BEST JaNE, 

I feel quite happy, and more for your sake than my 
own, that I have nothing but good news to communi- 
cate. 

I got to Halle yesterday rather late, four or five in 
the afternoon. There was a strict examination of pass- 
ports at Erfurt, and mine was refused a vise or frizze as 
Heilman calls it ; I believe because it was in French, — 
the Dummkopf ! I found Franck domesticated (I ought 
to say quartered, but it would sound like cutting up) in 
Butcher Street, the very place for filling one's cavities. 
After some good beer, bread and cheese, by way of din- 
ner, and a rest, we w^ent and settled all the passport 
affair right, and then went to head-quarters. My recep- 
tion was very gratifying indeed, they all seemed really 
glad to see me, and Franck's captain was particularly 
friendly ; and I quite regret my loss of German, as he 
is very merry, and likes to talk. There were some gen- 
tlemen from Merseberg, who had known some of the 
officers when the battalion was formerly quartered there, 
and all was jollity. They were very friendly too, and I 



186 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



felt quite at home, and moreover, supped on the famous 

Leipsic larks, things that Martin of Street would 

lick the lips of his heart at. Finally, I packed up my 
trunk, &c., went to bed, and slept soundly and dreamt 
(don't be jealous for we cannot command our dreams, I 
wish I could !) but it was of little Tom, God bless him. 
I rose with the larks, was well up to my time, marched 
to the muster, mounted my nag, and here I am, at a 
quarter past one, writing to you, after completing not 
only my first march, but a hearty dinner. Luck turned 
at last, for I rose without any pain, for the first time, and 
consequently in good spirits. I am delighted with my 
nag. Franck has got him into such excellent order, I 
was only off him twice, but thank goodness without hurt- 
ing myself, as it was merely dismounting according to 
the regular mode when we halted. Tell Fanny he walks 
after Franck, and knows him like a dog : I expect to be 
equally good friends with him, by feeding him with 
bread. Fanny herself might ride him, and I only fear I 
shall be sorry to part with him at last. I rode so well 
as to pass muster for a trooper, and did the turnpikes. 
At one village a man said, " There goes the doctor ! " 
The morning was beautiful, the road good, and straight 
as a line, over the immense plains near Leipsic, where 
so many a battle has been fought. For some distance 
I rode between the captain and a gentleman in plain 
clothes : it turned out he had formerly been a soldier in 
the battalion, and is now a Professor, and there was I 
the author turned soldier ! I did wish you could have 
gone with us, the first halt was very amusing, such mis- 
cellaneous breakfasting, and a boy with a large tin of hot 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



187 



sausages, sold all off in a minute to his surprise, and re- 
gret that he had not brought a whole barrow full. The 
colonel passed in a carriage : I did not see him, but he 
stopped Franck to ask if I was there, and sent his com- 
pliments. Tell Fanny I was introduced to Minna's 
father. Minna is not going to leave Coblenz yet, so 
that she can have her with her sometimes, before she 
goes. I assure you I found myself getting better every 
mile, and when we got here about ten, felt so fresh, in- 
deed, not even stiff, that I could not believe the march 
was over. 

From Gotha to Halle was somewhat tedious in a hei- 
wagen — without any adventure save one. At supper, 
for we did not leave till nine, there were two gentlemen, 
one of whom talked with me a good deal in my bad Ger- 
man ; but to my surprise when we had gone some miles 
he addressed me in English. We sat together in the 
coupe and gossipped nearly the whole night on England, 
Bowring, Campbell, &c. He told me he had been an 
emigre from Germany on account of his politics, which 
had brought him into great trouble, and had held an office 
at the London University, but having settled his differ- 
ences with Government is now a Professor at some col- 
lege in Prussia. Perhaps Dilke will know who he is. 
I have had good quarters as yet. Bill of fare to-day : 
roast pork, ditto goose, with apples, good soup, good beer, 
pickled cherries, celery roots in slices, as large and round 
as turnips, lamb's milk cheese stuck full of carraways. I 
should like to see your face at the last article. I have 
no more to say in the victualling line except that Franck 
caught Heilman ramming matches into his cayenne pep- 
per by mistake for a fire bottle. 



188 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



And now, dearest, it delights me to hope and think 
that whilst I am writing, you are at home safe and well, 
and are just now sitting down to dinner, or ought to be 
with the pretty little pair ; perhaps with the pretty big 
pair too. You know who I mean ! It was fine weather 
for you, and it was in favour of your impatience that 
you would travel quickest, nearest home. I hope you 
enjoyed the Rhine from Mayence. I shall long eagerly 
to know about you all, whether the Dilkes have left, and 
how he was, &c., and how you bore your solitary jour- 
ney. I have thought of you continually, and enjoy by 
sympathy beforehand the comfort you will feel in read- 
ing this, a true and not a flattering picture of my mind, 
body, and estate. I feel really as well as I say, and 
have now no doubt of getting very much better if not 
quite restored by this trip, with other advantages to boot. 
(There is a bunch of comforts for you, like the posies 
chucked in at a coach window.) We drank your health 
in beer (excuse the liquor). I ramble on how I can, 
having to take a sleep, and then go in the evening to 
meet the others, perhaps to play at whist, half-penny 
points. We are in a pretty little village, and among 
people the reverse of Rhinelanders. The sudden change 
from marching soldiers, &c., is quite laughable ; look out 
of window, and there is not a trace of military, not even 
a cap ; all are indoors snoozing, &c. In the evening we 
shall swarm like bees. 

Franck will write to you next, as I shall be busy, but 
I determined to show you to-day by a long letter how 
well I was after my march. I shall also write a few 
lines at the end of this to Fanny, who, I hope, helps and 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



180 



pleases jou as much as she can. If the Dilkes are not 
gone, give my love to them, and say all that is kind. I 
left in a sad hurry, and had not even time to thank Mrs. 
Dilke, without whom I should never have been launched. 
Tell her I shall be as grand over my march, as if I had 
crossed the Simplon. If you write of your journey 
faithfully to your mother, the break-down and all, I sus- 
pect it will be " vardict, sarve ' em right ! Hood and 
Jane are both gone mad together ! " The officers who 
were in love seem reconciled to their fate. I have found 
" my own Carlovicz " again — only time to shake hands, 
but expect him this evening. AVildegans is well again, 
but gone forward two hours further than us. He was 
with me all the way nearly. It will be our turn next I 
guess for a long spell, but I could have gone much fur- 
ther to-day than we did. I have promised the captain 
to get fat under his command. 

I fear you will have no more long letters till the 
" Comic " is done ; but am I not good for this one ? I 
am quite repaid by the anticipation of your pleasure in 
it. I fear you will have to copy what I send you of 
MSS., for fear of their miscarrying. I sent you a packet 
from Gotha. 

* * * * 

My dear Fanny, 
I hope you are as good still as when I went away — a 
comfort to your good mother and a kind playfellow to 
your little brother. Mind you tell him my horse eats 
bread out of my hand, and walks up to the officers who 
are eating, and pokes his nose into the women's baskets. 
I wish I could give you both a ride. I hope you liked 



190 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



your paints ; pray keep them out of Tom's way, as they 
are poisonous. I shall have rare stories to tell you when 
I come home ; but mind, you must be good till then, or I 
shall be as mute as a stockfish. Your mama will show 
you on the map where I was when I wrote this ; and 
when she writes will let you put in a word. You would 
have laughed to see your friend Wildegans running after 
the sausage boy to buy a ^'wilrst:" there was hardly an 
officer without one in his hand smoking hot. The men 
piled their guns on the grass, and sat by the side of the 
road, all munching at once like ogres. I had a pocket-full 
of bread and butter, which soon went into my " cavities," 
as Mrs. Dilke calls them. I only hope I shall not get so 
hungry as to eat my horse. I know I need not say, keep 
school and mind your book, as you love to learn. You 
may have Minna sometimes, her papa says. 

Now God bless you, my dear little girl, my pet, and 
think of your 

Loving Father, 

Thomas Hood. 

EXTRACT. 

Potsdam. 

From having gone through woods, full of old stumps 
and roots of trees, without a fall, I begin to pique myself 
on my horsemanship, but yesterday got into a bit of a 
caper. I was anxious to inquire at the post-office of 
Belitz, so had to get before the others, which I all but 
effected, when, just entering the town in a narrow street, 
I was obliged to wait with my horse's nose just against 
the big drum, which he objected to pass ; but I contrived 
to keep him dancing between the band and the regiment. 
I was more lucky than a captain in Coblenz, whose horse 



MEiMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



191 



ran away with him slap through the band, all of whom he 
upset, breaking their instruments to the tune of 300 dol- 
lars damages. I am glad I did not know this at the time. 

We rise at four, and march about five or half-past : it 
is moonlight earlier, but then becomes dark, so I march 
till I can see the road, and then mount ; after about three 
quarters of an hour we halt for a quarter of an hour, and 
then on again to the general rendezvous, overtaking or 
passing other companies on the road, for we are quartered 
sometimes widely apart. At the rendezvous we halt and 
breakfast — a sort of picnic -— each bringing what he 
can : if I had been searched yesterday they would have 
found on me two cold pigeons, and a loaf split and but- 
tered. I have learned to forage, and always clear the 
table at my quarters into my pockets. 

It is an amusing scene when we sit down by the road- 
side ; some of the officers, who have had queer quarters, 




bring sketches of them ; one the other day had such a 
ruinous house for his, that his dog stood and howled at 



102 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



it. At the inn at Kremnitz, I had dinner, supper, bed 
and breakfast for 7 good groschen, about 11 pence! 
Think of that, ye Jewish Rhinelanders. Many of them 
moreover returned the common soldiers the five groschen 
the king allows for their billeting, and gave them a glass 
of schnaps besides. They are a friendly, kind people, 
and meet you with the hand held out to shake, and 
say " Welcome." I like the Saxons much. Then we 

marched to Wittenberg, where a Lieut. J , an old 

friend of Franck's, made us dine with him at the mili- 
tary Casino. He spoke French, and I found him 
very intelligent, and somewhat literary, so we got on 
well. He asked me if w^e English had not a preju- 
dice against the Germans, and I assured him quite the 
reverse. 

He seemed pleased, and said, " To be sure we are of 
the same race " (Saxons). He took me over the town, 
famous as one of Luther's strongholds. His statue con- 
veyed the very impression I had from a late paper in the 
" Athenaeum," a sturdy friar, with a large thick-necked 
jowly head, sensual exceedingly, — a real sort of bull- 
dog to pin the pope's bull. From thence we went to 
Pruhlitz to our quarters, which were queerish ; Franck 
was put in a room used as the village church, and I in 
the ball-room ; w^e were certainly transposed. Our sec- 
ond quarters were at Nichel near Truenbritzen. We 
arrived after a march of eight hours and a half : think 
of that for me ! and I came in all alive and kicking. 
We got at it over wide barren heaths, and plenty of deep 
sand. Our billet w^as on the Burgomaster, or schultze, 
and his civic robe was a sheepskin with the wool inward, 
the usual wintry dress in those bleak parts. The lady 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



193 



mayoress a stout, plump, shorf-fiiced muiterlcin, with a 
vast number of petticoats to make amends for shortness. 
I told my host I was an English burgomaster, so we kept 
up a great respect and fellowship for each other. You 
would have laughed to see Bonkowski hugging and kiss- 
ing the Frau — it is reckoned an honour — and the 
husbands stand and look on ; we shook hands all around, 
and then dined ; I was not too curious about the cookery, 
and ate heartily. Every time I came to the window, a 
whole group in sheepskins, like baa lambs on their hind 
legs, pointed me out to each other, and took a good stare, 
so I suppose Englanders are rarities. At leaving, the 
Burgomaster inquired very anxiously about me, and 
being, as he thought, in the way to get information, he 
said he had heard of Flanders, and wanted to know if it 
was money like florins ! There was a Worship for you ! 

"VVe had but two beds, one for me, and one for Bon- 
kowski, and Franck was on the straw. 

Thence we went to • Schlunkendorf ( what a name ! ) 
near Belitz: quartered at a miller's, very clean and 
wholesome, but only two beds, so Franck was littered 
down again. I wanted the host to give him corn instead 
of straw by mistake, and then come and thrash them both 
out together. I forgot to say the little captain called on 
me at Pruhlitz to see how I was, and took tea with us. 
Last night I called on Bonkowski, who was opposite to 
us ; I found him flirting with the Frau. I told her I had 
come 50,000 miles, was married at 14, and had 17 
children ; and as I was in yellow boots, and Mrs. D.'s 

VOL. I. 9 M 



194 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



present of a robe, and really looked a Grand Turk, she 
believed me like Gospel. We made a \Yelch rabbit for 
supper, and then played loo till bed-time for pfennings ; 
I had a young officer for our third instead of Bonkowski. 
This morning I rode over from Schlunkendorf to Belitz, 
Heilman taking back the mare, where I found your wel- 
come letter, and started by diligence to Potsdam, where 
I am, having just eaten a capital dinner — chiefly a plate 
of good English-like roasted mutton — and a whole bottle 
of genuine English porter. I am to brush up here to 
see them parade before the king to-morrow morning. 

Then a day's rest here, and then to Berlin. After the 
parade, a party of us are going to Sans Souci, and so 
forth, sight seeing. Franck hopes to introduce me to the 
Radziwills at Berlin ; I have no pain, and really wonder 
how I march. But I had made up my heart and mind 
to it, and that is everything ; it keeps me, I think, from 
falling off my horse, I am so determined to stick to him, 
and keep my wits always about me : in fact I quite enjoy 
it, and only wish I could return so, 't is so much better 
than being jammed up in a diligence, and, says you, " less 
dangerous ! " 

Pray tell my dear good Fanny that at Schlunkendorf, 
there was a tame robin, that killed all the flies in the 
room, hopped on the table, and the edges of our plates, 
for some dinner. I am delighted with her keeping her 
promise to me. 

My project is to go with the 10th Company to Custrin, 
and then home by Frankfort on the Oder, Breslau, 
Dresden, Frankfort on the Maine, Mayence, Coblenz, 
where God send I may find you all well. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



195 



I forgot to say I composed a song for the lOtli, which 
made them all laugh. I send it for you. 

SONG FOR THE NINETEENTH. 

The morning sky is hung with mist, 
The rolling drum the street alarms, 

The host is paid, his daughter kiss'd — 
So now to arms ! to arms ! to arms ! 

Our evening bowl was strong and stiff, 

And may we get such quarters oft, 
I ne'er was better lodged, — for if 

The straw was hard, the maid was soft. 

So now to arms ! to arms ! to arms ! 

And fare thee well, my little dear ; 
And if they ask who won your charms, 

Why say — " 't was in your nineteenth year ! " 

Berlin, October 25(h. 
The country round Berlin, the Mark of Brandenburg, 
is bitter bad, deep sand almost a desert : I don't wonder 
the Great Frederick wanted something better. Some 
parts of our marches, through the forests, with the bugles 
ringing, were quite romantic, and the costume of the 
villagers, when they turned out to see us pass, really pic- 
turesque. I have now made five marches, and am not 
fatigued to speak of. I am sworn comrade with most of 
the officers ; one rough-looking old captain told me when 
he got to Berlin, he should have his Polish cook, and then 
he should ask me to dinner, promising me an " overgay " 
evening, which I shall take care to get out off. By-the- 



19G 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



by, when we were at the burgomaster's, I saw said cap- 
tain, striding up and down in a great fume before the 
house ; it turned out he was to sleep in the same room 
with a man, his wife and seven children ! which he de- 
clined. Finally, I believe, he was put in the school- 
room in an extempore bed. We are often short of 
knives, spoons, and forks, but the poor creatures do their 
best and cheerfully, so that it quite relishes the victuals. 
I shake their hands heartily, when we part. Yesterday 
I had a nice dessert of grapes, sent over to me by Bou- 
kowski, and they are scarce in these regions. 

Carlovicz one night got no quarters at all : it is quite 
a lottery. You should have seen Wildegans riding on 
a baggage waggon between suttlers ! Tell Tom that 
Franck comes to pat my horse, and she spits all over 
him sometimes, for she has rare yeasty jaws ; and yester- 
day I had the prudence to take myself to leeward after 
spangling the captain's cloak all over ! She eats rarely, 
and will sell well I dare say, but I shall be sorry to part 
wnth her. When I find myself on horseback, riding 
through a long wood with a regiment, it seems almost 
like a dream ; your mother will no more believe it than 
your upset. You have subjects enough now for the El- 
liots with a vengeance, and so shall I have ! I wish I 
could wish the Dilkes may be comfortably in Coblenz by 
my return. As they are not wanted, they would see 
the vintage ; God bless them any way, and say every- 
thing kind for me. I really think they might stay longer 
in Coblenz, quiet and cheap enough, and recover thor- 
oughly, against their winter campaign of company ; I 
long to see them again ere they cross the sea. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



197 



I have rambled on to amuse jou, and left little room 
to say all I could wish to yourself ; but you will find in 
your own heart the echo of all I have to say (rather an 
Irish one, but a truth-teller). 

* * * * 

I seem to have scarcely had an inconvenience, cer- 
tainly not a hardship, and it will ever be a pleasant 
thing for me to remember. I like little troubles ; I do 
not covet too flowery a path. By-the-by I have some 
dried flowers for my flower-loving Fanny, gathered at 
odd out-of-the-way places ; I will show her where on the 
map when I return. 

It was singular in the sheepskin country, w^hilst the 
men were all so warmly pelissed, to see the women in 
their short petticoats, their legs looking so cold. I sus- 
pect I pass for very hardy, if not fool-hardy, I slight the 
cold so ; but it seems to me a German characteristic, that 
they can bear being sugar-bakers, but can hardly endure 
what I call a bracing air. 

* * * * 

Bless you, bless you, again and again, my dear one, 
my only one, my one as good as a thousand to 

Your old Unitarian in love, 

T. H. 

P. S. If Desdemona loved Othello " for the dangers 
he had passed," how shall I love you ? With my utmost 
dilif/ence, or rather so much more than my heart can hold, 
that it must get a heiioagen ! And with that earnest joke, 
good bye. 



198 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



Berlin, October 29th. 

My DEAREST Love, 

Here I am safe — but ray march is over ! The Prince 
Radzivvill has invited Franck to stay two or three weeks 
here, so he of course stays. As he was the pretext 
for my journey, I cannot well go without him, but had 
planned to return by Dresden and Leipsic. To-day, 
however, it snows; and for fear of bad roads, &c., I 
think I shall come direct. Moreover, owing to the hurry 
I have none of my papers or lists with me, so that I find 
it difficult to do anything with the " Comic." You may 
look for me, therefore, in a fortnight from the date of 
this. I hope the Dilkes wall not be gone. I shall not 
write again. I am very well, and busy going about. I 
saw the Cadet school here yesterday morning. I swig 
away at good London porter. Don't you envy me ? 

Last night I was at the opera — " Undine " — the 
whole royal family present ; it was very well done, and 
I really longed for Tibbie, it was so full of fairy work. 
Nearly the whole of the 19th were there, and Wildegans 
says he regrets not to have heard the comments of the 
men. I have been with him to the exhibition of pictures 
this morning. Then we took leave, and it made me 
quite down to say Good-bye to so many, and probably 
for ever. He desired me to say everything that is kind 
to you, Fanny, and Tom. I was introduced to the Colo- 
nel last night, at the opera. We have a great joke 
amongst us : half the officers having a day or two's leave, 
stay here behind the regiment ; they lunch with me some- 
times, and we call it " eating the horse." I suppose I 
shall get rid of both him and his price before I leave. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



199 



I have met with no disagreeables here, which will 
please you, and shall reserve all stories for our tete-a- 
tetes. In a fortnight you may expect me. 

Tell my dear Fanny I was very much pleased with 
her letter, and so was her friend Franck. I gave her 
love to Wildegans and Carlovicz. I parted with Wilde- 
gans yesterday, about two o'clock. I reckon I shall never 
see him again. He desired everything kind to be said to 
you, and said he should never forget us, and spoke of the 
children, " kl€i?ie Tom and Fannie la petite."' 

God bless you all three, dear ones ! 

Berlin, November 2nd, 1836. 

My own dearest and best Love, 
I do not know whether this will reach you on your 
birthday, but I hope so. 

* * * * 

I have been very busy sight-seeing, and very gay. 
The day before yesterday Franck brought me an invita- 
tion from Prince William Radziwill, the head of the fam- 
ily, to dine with him at three o'clock. I was run for 
time, having to get dress-boots, &c. ; and to crown all, a 
coach ordered at half-past two did not arrive till three, 
nor could I make them understand to get another. Thank 
heaven, the dear Princesses were long in dressing, for it 
would have been awful to have kept them waiting. 

They say no man is a prophet in his own country, and 
here literature certainly came in for its honours. The 
Prince introduced me himself to every one of his family, 
who all tried to talk to me, most of them speaking Eng- 



200 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



lish very well. Some spoke French, so I got on very 
well, save a little deafness. The Prince placed me him- 
self next to him at dinner, on his right hand, and talked 
with me continually during dinner, telling me stories and 
anecdotes, &c., and I tried to get out of his debt by some 
of mine. There were present Prince William, Prince 
Boguslaw Radziwill, Prince Adam Czartoriski, Prince 
Edmund Clary, Count Wildenbruch (whom I had met 
before), Count Lubienski, Councillor Michalski, Hofrath 
Kupsach, Captain Crawford, R. N., Princess Clary, Prin- 
cess Felicia Clary, Princess Euphemia Clary, Princess 
Boguslaw Radziwill, Princess Wanda Czartoriski, and 
Miss von Lange, lady-in-waiting. So I was in august 
company. (Franck was obliged to dine at the Duke of 
Cumberland's.) I was quite dehghted with the whole 
family; they are all excellent. I stayed till seven. 
We were very merry after dinner. Franck came in, and 
the Princes kept telling me sporting anecdotes about 
themselves and him. Prince William proposed to call 
on me and see my sketches, but I told him I had none, 
and then begged his acceptance of my books, which I am 
to send. The Princesses asked me to send them this 
year's Comic." Both the Prince Radziwills shook 
hands with me at parting. They (the Princes) have 
since spoken of visiting me, but Franck declined it, on 
the plea of my being so far off ; for the place was so full, 
not a bed was to be had when I arrived at that end, and 
I am in quite a third-rate hotel, at the opposite quarter. 

I have more particulars to tell you when we meet, but 
I knew you would be pleased to hear of this. The Duke 
of Cumberland asked Franck who " that gentleman was 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



201 



Avho marched with his regiment," and was surprised to 
hear it was me ; he had been told it was an officer. 
Prince George spoke in such very handsome terms of 
me, that I left my card for him. As he regretted not 
having had the last " Comic," Franck presented one of 
his. It is a sad pity, but the Prince is quite blind ; a fine 
young man, and very amiable. I do not know whether 
I shall see any of the Princes again before I go, but I 
expect I must call to take leave. They had even read 
"Tylney Hall!" 

* * * * 

Since writing the above, I have been unwell, and 
could not meet Franck as I promised at the Exhibition. 
I think principally it arose from a sudden change in the 
weather, from really severe frost to rain. Only yester- 
day we were walking in the fish market, where the huge 
tubs of jack, carp, &c., were almost frozen hard, but to- 
day the streets are covered with genuine Lo7idon-\ike 
mud. I have seen Franck, however, at the cafe where 
I dine, and he told me Prince William called on me yes- 
terday, and the other Princes to-day, also Count Wilden- 
bruch. This is really most flattering attention. I sent to- 
day to one of the Princes a written account of Franck's 
tumble into the Lahn, which I expect will make them 
laugh, as I had highly embellished it. Franck is gone 
again to-night to the Duke of Cumberland's. We only 
meet by snatches. He and a young lieutenant, Von 
Heugel, are all I see now of the 19th. The latter and I 
are very good friends : he is quite young, and having 
leave as long as Franck's, and more leisure, we go about 

9* 



202 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



together a good deal. You should hear the lamentations 
of Franck and myself, that you are not here, — it is 
really amusing. 

Yesterday I was in the Musee, and saw some wonder- 
ful pictures : the " Titian's Daughter," for instance. I 
should like to be one of the attendants for a month. 
There were some curious antique pieces I will describe 
when we meet. Altogether I have had a most happy 
time of it, and in health and every respect have reason 
to be highly gratified. I am now all right — a little good 
port wine, which all the officers here recommended me to 
take to-night, has cured me, and here I am writing to you 
with the spirits of a lark, in the hope that after a couple 
or three days, every hour will bring me nearer to all that 
is dearest to me on earth. 

* ♦ * * 

The following letter was written, after my father's re- 
turn from Berlin, to his friend, Mr. de Franck, who was 
then with his regiment at Bromberg. My father missed 
him sadly on many accounts, and indeed I think, after he 
left, Coblenz became very dreary and tedious to him. 
They were fellow disciples of Izaak Walton in the " gen- 
tle art of angling," and after his friend's departure, my 
father found his pleasant fishing rambles had lost their 
greatest charm. They had spent so many happy days 
with rod and line at Lahneck, and by the side of the 
Moselle, &c., that the old haunts seemed very lonely and 
deserted after Mr. de Franck left. The frequent address 
of " Tim says he " between them, arose from the follow- 
ing dialogue which my father had picked up somewhere. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



203 



The characters were supposed to be a thoughtless Irish- 
man in difficulties, and his more prudent servant, and the 
conversation ran thus ; — 

" Tim ! " says he. 

" Sir ! " says he. 

" Fetch me my hat," says he, 

" That I may go," says he, 

" To Timahoe," says he, 

" And go to the fair," says he, 

" And see all that 's there ! " says he. 

" First pay what you owe ! " says he, 

" And then you may go," says he, 

" To Timahoe," says he, 

" And go to the fair," says he, 

" And see all that 's there ! " says he. 

" Now by this and by that," says he, 

" — Tim, hang up my hat ! " says he. 

This so tickled their fancies that " Tim says he " was 
a far more frequent preface and salutation than their 
own proper names. The origin of the nickname " John- 
ny," I have not been able to trace. 

752, Alten Graben, Coblenz, Dec. 2nd, 1836. 
Tim, says he. 

It was odd enough I should have my accident too as if 
to persuade me that German eilwagens are the most 
dangerous vehicles in the world — but about four o'clock 
on the third morning, after a great " leap in the dark," 
the coach turned short round, and brought up against the 
rails of the roadside ; luckily they were strong, or we 
should have gone over a precipice. There we were on 



204 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



the top of a bleak hill, the pole having broken short off, 
till we were fetched by heiiuagens, to the next station, 
where a new pole was made ; but it delayed us six hours. 
Here I got the first of my cold, for the weather and wind 
were keen ; the night journey from Frankfort to Mayence 
in an open coupe confirmed it. I could not help falling 
asleep in it from cold. So I came home looking well, 
and as ruddy as bacon ; but the very next day turned 
ivliite with a dreadful cough, which ended in spitting 
blood ; but I sent for the doctor, was bled, and it was 
stopped : but I am still weak. To make things better I 
had not sent enough for the " Comic," and was obliged 
to set to work again, willy-nilly, well or illy. I have 
not been out of doors yet since I came home, but shall in 
a day or two. The Rhine and Moselle are very high — 
the Castor Street is flooded — the weather being very 
mild — but I guess cold is coming, for I saw a fellow 
bring into the town to-day a very large wolf on his 
shoulders. He was as fat as a pig. 1 found all well at 
home. Tom stared his eyes out at me, almost, and for 
two days would scarcely quit my lap. He talks and 
sings like a parrot. I should have liked to see your 
Grand Hunt (a Battue), but for sport I would rather 
take my dog and gun and pick up what I could find. 
The night procession must have looked well. Poor 
Dilke went away very unwell, but the last account of 
him was better. I did not get home soon enough to see 
him. I am going to give him a long account of my 
march. I think the horse sold very well, but cannot 
fancy what you will do with the saddle, unless you put it 
on a clothes-horse when you want to ride. Don't forget in 



MEMOEIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



205" 



your next to let me know the fate of the cheese. I gtiess 
it got " high and mity " enough to deserve a title. 
Oh ! I do miss the porter at Berlin ! Schumacher's is to 
let again, and the beer we get is " ex-crahble ! " I hope 
next winter to taste it in London, but can form no plans 
till my health clears up more. I must beg you in your 
next to give me the list of the officers. I was to have 
had it before we parted, as I begin my German book 
with the march. How do you find your quarters ? Are 

there any Miss A s at Bromberg ? By-the-by, I 

undertook a letter from Lieutenant B to deliver 

here, and sent it by Katchen, who says the mother came 
in and made a bit of a roiu. But I cannot well under- 
stand what she said in German. Perhaps there has 
been a cat let out of the bag, the young lady having left 
the letter lying on the table in view of the mamma. 

How is Wildegans ? and do you ever see him and 
Carlovicz ? My kind regards to both, and most friendly 
remembrances to all you see, not forgetting my captain. 
How you will delight in settling down to your drill 
duties and parades after so much gaiety ! I quite envy 
you : a few raw recruits would be quite a treat ! You 
do not tell me whether you had any trolling with Prince 
Boguslaff : all our old fishing-stands by the Moselle are 
under water. I hope to get out a " Comic " early in 
the spring, and the books for Berlin ; but I shall not 
know how to get anything over before, as I guess land- 
carriage Cometh very dear, and they must come via 
Ostend till the Rhine-boats run again. Perhaps my 
painter will come out early ; as Jane has told you I am 
to be " done in oil." I have now no news — how should 



206 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



I have ? for I have at least been room-ridden. I shall 
take to my rod again as soon as the season begins ; but 
I shall miss you, Johnny, and your " wenting in." * I 
must promise you a better letter next time. This is only 
a brief from, 

Dear Johnny, 

Yours ever truly, 

Johnny. 

Fanny and Tom send their little loves. 

CoBLENZ, December 15th, 1836. 

My dear Wright, 

Now for a slight sketch of my march. Our start 
was a pretty one. We were to go at six, Jane and 
I, by the coach, and were to be called by four. Every- 
thing ready, but not all packed. I woke by chance at 
half-past five, our servant — hang her German phlegm ! 
— being still in bed. Now, as all mails, &c., here are 
government concerns, you pay beforehand, at the post- 
office, fare, postilions, turnpikes, and all, which makes 
it very pleasant to lose your place. 

By a miracle — I cannot imagine how — Mrs. Dilke 
helping, we somehow got Jane's bag and my portman- 
teau rammed full, and caught the coach just setting off. 
A fine day, and a fine view of the Rheingau, for we 
went round by the Baths to Frankfort-on-Maine, but 
"dooms" slow, for it is hilly all the way, and they 
walked up, and dragged on slowly down. 

* Mr. Franck had so forgotten his English as to make little mistakes 
at times, and once said he " wen ted in " somewhei'e. Of course this 
gave my father an opportunity for inwenting endless fun. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



207 



Started in the evening-coach from Frankfort for 
Eisenach. Myself taken very ill in the night ; but had 
some illness hanging about me brought to a crisis by 
being stived up, all windows shut, with four Germans 
stinking of the accumulated smoke and odour, stale, flat, 
and unprofitable, of perhaps two years' reeking garlic 
and what not, besides heat insufferable. I was for some- 
time insensible, unknown to Jane, and, coming-to again, 
let down the window, which let in a very cold wind, 
but delicious to me, for it seemed like a breeze through 
the branches and blossoms of the tree of life. But it 
was the cause of a severe cold on the chest. We slept 
at Eisenach; next morning posted to Langen Seltzei's, 
the head-quarters. * * * 

I shall soon begin on my German book with " wigger." 
I have material prepared. Minor adventures on the 
march I have not given, as you will see them there. 
I pique myself on the punctuality of my brief military 
career. I was never too late, and always had my bag- 
gage packed by ray own hands ready for the waggon. 
It was almost always dark at setting out, and I had to 
lead my horse till I could see. After half an hour, 
or an hour, we took generally a quarter's rest, for a 
sort of after-breakfast; then made for the general ren- 
dezvous, where we piled arms, and all fell to work on 
our victuals, — a strange picnic, each bringing what 
he could; and we made reports, and some showed 
sketches of their last night's quarters. On the whole, 
I was very fortunate. Some were regularly hovelled, 
in pigeon-houses or anywhere. It was a lottery. On 
the march I rode by turns at the head or the tail of the 



208 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



companies, talking with such of the officers as could 
speak French. They were, one and all, very friendly, 
and glad of my company. I almost wondered at myself, 
to find that I could manage my horse so well, for we 
had queer ground sometimes, when we took short cuts. 

I assure you sometimes I have almost asked myself 
the question, whether I was I, seeming to be so much 
out of my ordinary life, — for example, on horseback, 
following, or rather belonging to, a company of soldiers ; 
the bugle ringing through a vast pine wood to keep us 
together, or the men perhaps singing Polish songs in 
chorus, for this is a Polish regiment chiefly. 

About a year ago I had a military cloak, at the con- 
tractor's price, from Berlin, but without any idea of a 
march. Thanks to it, and my horse, having been a cap- 
tain of engineers', with its saddle-cloth, &c., I cheated the 
king of all the road-money, for they let me pass all the 
toll-houses as an officer. I was taken alternately for the 
chaplain and doctor of the regiment. It did me a world 
of good, but the finish marred all again. I was disap- 
pointed at not going to the end with them, but as De 
Franck stays, I could not well proceed ; and I have since 
heard he has been stopped three weeks more, to go on a 
grand hunting party into Austria. I am going to set to 
work to learn German during this winter, as I know I 
shall be able to turn it to account. I am reading the pa- 
pers, but they are not worth reading. 

I shall be very happy to see Mr. L-^^ — and show him 
all the countenance I can in Coblenz as a portrait-paint- 
er, by letting him take my own, but, for my part, I never 
got any good of my face yet, except that it once got me 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



209 



credit for eighteen pence at a shop, wlien I had gone out 
without my purse. If he has not yet seen the Rhine, he 
will find the " face of nature " very well worth his atten- 
tions, and I shall have much pleasure in offering him 
such hospitality as we have here, — for it is not quite 
English in its fare, this good town. But a change is 
sometimes agreeable. I had a change of it on the 
march, and I cooked our supper of "Welsh-rabbits one 
night, but though it was good Stilton cheese, no less, the 
two German officers we invited express, would n't eat it. 
It ran a near chance of being thrown away, because it 
was turning blue. I must tell you of a good joke. I 
sent De Franck's servant with my passport to a country 
Burgomaster to be vise, — he brought it back with a 
message that " I could not be 'frizze^ without coming in 
person ! " Encore. They use little fire bottles very 
much here, — one morning at four o'clock we were an 
immense time getting a light, the bugle had sounded long 
ago, — at last we found him with a bundle of about fifty 
phosphoric matches, trying them all by turns in our little 
"phial of Cayenne, very much bothered that they would 
not catch fire. And now, dear Wright, adieu, with kind 
regards, 

Yours, ever truly, 

Thos. Hood. 

752, Alten Graben, Coblenz, 26ift i)ec., 1836. 
My dear Dilke, 
I intended to write to you long ago, but, as usual, I 
have been laid up in ordinary, a phrase you must get 
some Navy Pay Officer to translate. My marching in 

N 



210 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



fact ended like Fevre's (it ought to be Le Fever) in 
a sick bed — my regiment came to a regimen ! Oh, 
Dilke, what humbugs of travellers you and I be now, 
that we cannot compass a few hundred miles, but the 
leech must be called in at the end ! I came home, look- 
ing ruddy as a ploughboy, and, excepting some signs of 
my old local weakness, better apparently than since I 
have been here ; but almost the next day after my re- 
turn, I turned white, with a most una<icountable depres- 
sion, which ended in a fit of spitting blood as before. 

Dr. S was immediately sent for — I was bled, and 

there was no return. 

Now I cannot believe that such a poor crow as I can 
have too much blood. I suspect this time it was a touch 
on the lungs, which were never touched before, being 
indeed my strongest point. I attribute it to our unlucky 
accident of the coach — at four o'clock of a cold, windy 
morning. However, I am nearly right again, but weak 
and low — rather : your kind letter has just arrived with 
its good news, quite equal to three cheers, one for Dilke, 
one for the " Comic," and one for myself. I was afraid 
the first would be worse for his homeward journey. I 
must and will think you set off too soon, and as a prophet 
after the fact, you had plenty of mild fine weather before 
you, for it only snowed here for the first time yesterday, 
Christmas Day ! I am heartily glad to hear of so much 
decided improvement, but it will be a weak point always 
and require great care ; — even at the expense of hav- 
ing a fell of hair like a German. 

If he cannot get it cut at home, he deserves to have 
his head shaved for that last expedition. What would 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



211 



Dr. S say, only I can't tell him. I hope you, Mrs. 

Dilke, preached a good sermon on it, and you will do 
well to read him daily a morning lesson out of the Bible, 
showing how Samson lost all his strength by going and 
haA'ing his hair cut. What an epitaph must I have writ- 
ten, if he had died through that little outbreak of personal 
vanity : — 

" Here hes Dilke, the victim to a whim, 
Who went to have his hair cut, but the air cut him." 

I certainly do not agree any more than Dr. Johnson as 
to his being a C^s^-ercian ; from the great tenderness, the 
evil did not seem to me to be so deeply seated as Dr. B. 
supposed, but nearer the surface ; I have now great hope 
of him — barring barbers — and especially that leaving 
Somerset House; the change will perhaps add to his 
years, and let him live a double number, provided always 
he don't come up the Rhine again. I am always happy 
to see friends — but really I do wish you had not come, 
for now we have nothing so agreeable to look forward to, 
and not much at present to look back upon ! I wonder 
if the visit will ever be returned — shall I ever go down 
the Rhine and drop in at Lower Grosvenor Place ? 

I live in hope of the first part at least ; I try to fill up 
my own cavities instead of the sexton's by every care I 
can take ; for instance, I am sailing on Temperance prin- 
ciples. I drank your health, and the compliments of the 
season to you yesterday, in a glass of Jane's ginger wine ; 
and at night, being Christmas, indulged in a glass of — 
lemonade ! As for you, Maria, having lost your sides, 
you must expect to be always middling, but no more 



212 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



spasms! So huzza for us all — who knows but our 
united ages may become worthy of a newspaper para- 
graph, some forty years hence. 

I am glad you relish the " Comic " so well : indeed, I 
always try that it shall not fall off, whatever its sale may 
do — that the fault may be the public's, not the private's. 
But it seems doomed never to be early — thanks to that 
slug-a-bed, Katchen, and her German phlegm, it was 
some three weeks after it should have been out. 

In the meantime, I will give you some particulars of 
my excursion. You have heard how well I got through 
my first day's ride — it was a fine morning, and we 
crossed part of that flat which surrounds Leipzic — what 
an immense flat it is ! An ocean of sand literally stretch- 
ing beyond the reach of the eye. It seems to have been 
intended for the grand armies of Europe to decide their 
differences on. That is to say, if Nature or Providence 
ever intended to form convenient plains for wholesale 
butcheries, of which I have some doubt. 

However, it is classic ground to the soldier, as several 
great battles have taken place in the neighbourhood. 
The next morning, I packed up and started at four, and 
after rather a longer spell got to Brenha, where I found 
my quarters at a sort of country inn and butcher's shop 
rolled into one. I only breakfasted at Brenha — spend- 
ing the rest of my time at a chateau of Baron B 's, 

with De Franck and the Captain — the old Major-domo, 
the image of a Scotchman, doing the honours. He sent 
down to invite me, and thenceforward I boarded at the 
chateau, and only slept and breakfasted at the inn. I 
had the prettiest girl in the place for my waitress — and 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



213 



told her I was a prisoner of state on parole with the reg- 
iment, which interested her in my favour, I suppose : 
anyhow it brought up the mother — dram bottle in hand 
— who sat herself down, tete-a-tete at the table, and 
seemed determined to hear all the rights of it; but I 
grew very English, and her curiosity could get nothing 
out of me. At the chateau we lived hke fighting-cocks, 
and drank a very good wine, made on the estate, as good 
as much of the Rhenish. 

We had a sort of under-steward for our host, and for 
our waiting-maid, an ugly, grisly female, with the addition 
of an outlandish head-dress, and a huge frill — stiff, and 
fastened behind to her cap, so that she was in a sort of 
pillory. The pretty girl at the inn did not get half so 
much of my attention. The fare — poultry, jack, carp, 
beetroot, neat's tongue. I saw in the farm-yard some 
very fair pigs — one with a stiff neck — his head reg- 
ularly fixed on one side ; some excellent Polish fowls ; and 
in a long stable a range of fine-ish cows, with a long 
solid bench before them, where each had a circular hollow 
scooped for it like a bason. I have seen tables for 
human beasts, in Berkshire, with the dishes and platters, 
scooped out in like fashion — not a bad plan for sea-faring 
furniture — not over cleanly, perhaps, but fast and not 
breakable. There was also a garden and a fish-pond 
in it. 

The next day being a rest, we spent at the same place, 
and we went trolling, the steward giving us leave, in a 
mill-stream, where we only caught one little jack before 
dinner, who had tried to swallow the bait, a carp as 
broad as himself. We brought both into the house, as 



214 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



they were, by the M^ay of a curiosity, but leaving taclile 
and all in the passage, during dinner, we hooked the 
favourite cat to boot, who had taken the bait too. Our 
bad sport in the morning procured us leave for the after- 
noon, in the garden pond, a sort of preserve, where we 
immediately hooked a good large jack. As soon as the 
line went off under the weeds, I pulled out mj watch to 
give the fish eight or ten minutes to pouch the bait, while 
De Franck stood still as a statue with the rod ; the cap- 
tain up at his window wondering what solemn operation 
was going on. At last we got him, a good jack ; then a 
second, a third, and a fourth, the face of the steward 
lengthening to each catch, in the most laughable manner. 
He evidently thought we should " distress the water," as 
it is technically termed. Jack are much esteemed, you 
must know, in inland Germany, and the old man was 
quite glad when we packed up our tackle. He was 
comforted at last to find three were so little hurt, that they 
might be thrown in again. But he told us, half in joke, 
half in earnest, when we came again he should set a 
watch over all his ponds. 

Three years since there were four thousand trees 
blown down on the estate by a storm, they stopped all 
the roads in the neighbourhood, which took fourteen days 
in clearing ; and some of the trees are not yet removed. 

They must have had some such treats in Germany 
elsewhere, I guess, during the late hurricanes. At the 
inn I had one dinner, one supper, bed twice, and two 
breakfasts, for ten groschen, or one shiUing. But these 
bye-places are poor, and a little money goes a great way. 
Here I not only found soap for the first time in Ger- 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



215 



many, but a place in the hason expressly for holding it. 
The Saxons seemed generally good sort of people. Our 
next march took us across the Elbe to Wittenberg. A 

Lieutenant J , an old crony of De Franck 's, met 

us on the bridge, and insisted on our dining with him, so 

we got leave, dined at the Casino, and J showed me 

the lions of the place. 

As to Luther's statue, I could not help thinking of 
Friar John, in Rabelais, as a brother of the same order. 
Thinks I to myself, so I am to thank that fellow up there 
for being a Protestant. I had remarked at Wittenberg 
the peculiar tall glasses, a full foot high, with a glass 
cover (no stems), and afterwards at Berlin I saw Luther's 
drinking cup, or vessel, made after the same jolly fashion. 

J showed me his residence, now a College, where 

he said a good deal of mysticism prevails. J drove 

with us, in a hired carriage, to our quarters, about an 
hour's ride through deep sand to Pruhlitz, a very tiny 
village. We passed, by the way, a well miraculously 
discovered by Luther when he was dry, by a scratch of 
his staff in the sand — he looked more like the tapper of 
ale barrels. In our quarters I had for a wonder, a four- 
post bed with the old feather beds below and above, and 
as the bed was made at an angle of thirty-five degrees, I 
slept little more than I should have done on a " Russian 
mountain," always sliding down and getting up again. 
Hereabouts this slant was quite the fashion. Partridges 
are so plentiful about Leipsic and Wittenberg, as to be 
three groschen the brace. Next morning we got to the 
Mark of Brandenburg. We went over sands, and such 
desolate, bleak, bare heaths, I expected on every ascent 



216 



MEMOKIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



to come in sight of some forlorn sea-coast (we took often 
short cuts across country, rendezvousing in the high 
roads). Our march lasted eight and a half hours, hav- 
ing a grand parade (as rehearsal) on the way, and were 
quartered at last at Nichel, near Treuenbritzen, so call- 
ed as the only place that stood true to Frederic the 
Great. 

When we arrived here, the whole population had 
turned out to see us, as military do not often appear in 
such parts. The females look very picturesque — for 
the single wear black head-dresses, the married ones, 
quite a game of rouge et noir. I don't think Cook 
could have been more wondered at by the Sandwichers, 
than I was by the Nichelites. A party waited in front 
of the house, and pointed me out whenever I came to the 
window, and stared with only the glass between us, as 
heartily as if they had really been sheep and not merely 
skins. The Captain of the 11th company (mine was the 
10th) called politely to see how I was lodged. * * * 
I was much amused in the evening to see the gaunt hogs 
trotting home of their own accord, from I know not 
where — each going into his own quarters as regularly 
as we did — and the geese the same, though some next 
door houses were infinitely to appearance more selectable 
than their neighbours. 

I saw a goose wait for a long while at a house, where 
no door happened to be open, till at last she was admit- 
ted. I will give you a recipe for our dinner. First make 
some rice-milk rather watery, and stew in a few raisins. 
Then cut a fowl in pieces, six perhaps, and make a broth 
with it. Pour the first dish and the second together, and 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 217 



the mess is made. We had two beds for three ; so De 
Franck slept on the straw. Next morning we got to 
Belitz ; from here we rode across to Schlunkendorf, 
quartered with De Franck and another at a miller's. 
Millers', by the way, are the best quarters everywhere, 
though we got but two beds, and so De Franck was lit- 
tered down. I went out after dinner, and could see noth- 
ing but a sandy waste with a windmill. In my yellow 
boots and figured robe (Mrs. D.'s present), I was not at 
all out of costume, for such an Arabian-like scene. Next 
day being a rest, I took advantage of it to push on to 
Potsdam to see all I could. Here ended my actual 
marching with the regiment, for the next morning the 
King came to Potsdam to review it. He was much 
pleased ; but as an instance of his love for military 
minutiae, and correct ear, when they were giving him 
cheers, the huzzas and the drums did not time exactly 
together, and he exclaimed " What beating is that ? " 

Everything about Potsdam smacks of the Great little 
Frederic, but nothing is more striking than the supera- 
bundance of statues. They swarm ! — there is a whole 
garrison turned into marble or stone, good, bad, and in- 
different. They are as numerous in the garden as the 
promenaders ; there is a Neptune group, for example, 
without even the apology of a pond. The same at Sans 
Souci — in fact, everywhere. The effect, to my taste, is 
execrable, or ridiculous. Solitude and stillness seem the 
proper attributes of a statue. We have no notion of 
marbles mobbing. I saw, of course, all the apartments 
and relics of Frederic. The chairs torn by his dogs, his 
writing-table, &c. The Watteaus on the walls, contain- 
yoL. I. 10 



218 



me:morials of tiiomas hood. 



ing the recurring belle Barberini, pleased me much ; he 
seems to give a nature to courtliness, and a courtliness to 
nature, that make palace-gardens more like fairy-land, 
and their inhabitants more like Loves and Graces than 
I fear they be in reality. I was much interested by a 
portrait of Napoleon when consul (said to be very hke), 
over a door in the palace. It had a look of melancholy 
as well as thought, with an expression that seemed to 
draw the heart towards him. There must have been 
something likeable about him, to judge by the attachment 
and devotion of some of his adherents ; but I could not 
help believing before the picture, that when younger, he 
had been of a kinder and more benevolent disposition 
than is generally supposed. 

One of the other curiosities was the present king's bed 
— a mere crib. I visited the Peacock Island, of which 
I thought little ; and two of the country-seats, the Crown 
Prince's and Prince Charles's. The first in the style of 
an Italian villa, with frescoes, in the medallions of which 
are introduced portraits of personal friends, &c. ; but the 
German physiognomy does not match well with the Ital- 
ianesque. The public are admitted into the gardens — 
even when the Prince is enjoying himself in them with 
his parties : this is very, almost ultra, liberal ; but it 
seems to me a German taste to enjoy nothing without 
this publicity. At Prince Charles's (he is attached to the 
sea, and wished to be a sailor) I saw some annuals on his 
table, and an English caricature ; also English prints and 
pictures hung in the rooms. He is partial to us, and I en- 
tered my name in a book he keeps to know of his visitors. 
I saw some fine pictures in the gallery — Titians ; a most 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



219 



mirjicnlous livinc) hand of flesh and blood, as it seemed 
to me to be, in one of them. 

I entertained some of the officers here to luncheon ; 
they dined by invitation with the Guards, who gave 
them a dinner, first for the king, and secondly for them- 
selves. I saw here the Russian colony, living in cot- 
tages a la Suisse. I saw, of course, the famous mill that 
beat Frederic in a battle, like Don Quixote ; and I sat 
down at Frederic's table where he worked, with a statue 
of Justice in sight through a window at the opposite end 
of the room — "a conceit ! a miserable conceit I " — that 
he might always keep justice in view. An acted pun ! 
As his favourite dogs were all buried with a tombstone 
apiece, very near Justice's feet, there ought to have been 
some meaning there, too ; but I could not find or invent 
it, unless that Justice had more to do with dead dogs 
than with living ones. 

The garrison church, externally, looks like an arsenal, 
't is so be-stuck with helmets, flags, and military trophies, 
carved in stone ; but in the interior it is worth one's 
while to go into a dark narrow tomb, just under the or- 
gan, only to reflect on the strange chances of finding 
Frederic and his father so near, and yet so peaceable, as 
they lie side by side — not " lovely and pleasant in their 
lives, but in their deaths not divided." 

* * * * 

And now, my dear D., with kind regards to Mrs. 
Dilke, 

Believe me ever 

Your faithful friend, 

Thomas Hood. 



220 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



On returning from Berlin, my father settled down to 
complete, as far as possible, the matter and drawings for 
his German book. In one of my mother's letters to 
England, she says, " You will be glad to hear Hood in- 
tends seriously to study German during the winter, and 
I don't mean to let his purpose cool. He talks of seeing 
more of Germany in the spring." (Here my father 
seems to have been at his old tricks again of embel- 
lishing my mother's letters, for there follows in his 
own handwriting). " At present Germany has seen 
him. As at Berlin there was London porter, reasonable 
Cheshire cheese, to say nothing of caviare, smoked goose 
breasts, and other relishes ; he says he regularly ' filled 
his cavities.' After the discipline his stomach underwent 
in such villages as Schlunkendorf and Nichel it is so 
much improved in its tone, that I have very little of my 
old trouble, and it was a trouble, in suiting it. He swears 
that he eats ' wiirst ' even with a relish. I wish he had 
marched a year ago, and almost regret with Mr. Dilke 
that he is not in the army. I mean to make him a 
present of a walking-stick on New-Year's day, and to 
make him trot out on errands." 

The German book " Up the Rhine," progressed favour- 
ably, the " Comic Annual " coming out as usual. I can 
just recollect the actual finish of the latter. My father 
always wrote most by night, when all was quiet and the 
bustle of the day and the noise of us children stilled in 
sleep. This year I recollect being waked by hearing my 
father and mother in the next room, packing the little 
box of drawings and MSS. to send off by steamer to Eng- 
land. When they found I was awake my mother came 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 221 



in and rolled me up in a huge shawl, installing me in an 
arm chair ; we then finished up with a merrj supper 
(though it must have been nearer morning than night) 
my father, relieved from the anxiety and worry of his 
work, brightening up through all his fatigue, and joking 
and laughing quite cheerfully. Each following year did 
these finishing suppers take place, to celebrate the com- 
pletion of the " Comic Annual." 




222 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



CHAPTER IV. 

1837. 

At Coblenz. — Letters to Mr. Wright, Lieut, de Franck, and Dr. 
Elliot. — Leaves Coblenz. — Settles at Ostend. — Letters to IMi*. 
Wright, Dr. Elliot, and Mr. Dilke. 

IN the beginning of 1837 mj father finally made up 
his mind to leave Coblenz. Among other reasons, 
the difficulty of sending backwards and forwards was 
really serious. "A month to come, and a month to go," 
as he writes to Mr. Wright, " makes a serious difference 
in time to me, and throws out all my plans." In 
these days of easy railway locomotion, when there is a 
line almost over even those primitive wilds he travelled 
through on his march, this time seems fabulous. It is 
curious to think how all these increased facilities for trav- 
elling must have civilised those remote places, — such as 
Schlunkendorf and Nichel, — and transformed, I will not 
say improved, the Schultz and his fellow-villagers of the 
sheepskin robes into very ordinary German peasants, 
with fewer outlandish characteristics, and with possibly 
less honesty. 

752, Alten Graben, Coblenz, ISth January, 1837. 

My dear Wright, 
I have no doubt but the Count you are doing some 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



223 



cuts for, is the same that Prince Radziwill mentioned to 
me, as engaged on a work on modern German art. The 
Prince alluded to the excellence of our ivood-ciitting.^ 
You would do well to send the Count some of your best 
specimens ; I saw some wretched German woodcuts in 
the Berlin exhibition. I think the name I recollect was 
something like Raczjnski. I should not be surprised if 
seeing the Comic had suggested you to him as good 
wood-engravers. The Germans cannot cut ; and if they 
could make fine cuts, couldn't print them. And yet 
Albert Diirer, a German, was the founder of the art. I 
am hard at work at my German book. You will soon 
have a box. Some of the subjects are larger than usual, 
and must be printed the long way of the page. Have 
the goodness to make a polite message to Messrs. Saun- 
ders and Otley for me, saying, that till I return to Eng- 
land I cannot well undertake any such arrangement as 
they propose ; but that when I come back I shall be 
open to offers of the kind. Indeed, for the next six 
months my hands are full. 

I have no time to write more, except to present all 
good wishes and seasonable compliments to yourself and 
Mrs. W". Pray remember me kmdly to all friends, not 

* Those who remember the mdeness of the Comic cuts, or even 
of " Up the Rhuie," will smile at this. I don't suppose Messrs. Linton 
or Dalziel would allow their apprentices to tarn out such blocks. The 
art appears to have been bound in German swaddling-clothes from 
Diirer's time until Bewick released it, since when it has made strides 
worthy of an ogre in seven-league boots. I take this opportunity of 
publicly expressing the thanks of my sister and self to the engraver, 
who has cut the illustrations for this work with such great spirit and 
fidelity. — T. H. 



224 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



forgetting poor Ned Smith. Did I name a book for 
Harvey ? But I trust to you, who know my wishes, to 
rectify all casual mistakes and omissions. 
I am, my dear Wright, 

Yours ever truly, 

Thomas Hood. 

I shall write a chapter on German Draughts (of Air), 
and their invention of cold-traps. I have a stiff neck, 
that goes all down my back, and then comes up the other 
side, thanks to their well-staircases and drying lofts in the 
attics. 

752, Alten Grabex, Coblenz, April 2Srd, 1837. 

My dear Johnny, 

Are n't you glad to hear now that I Ve only been ill 
and spitting blood three times since I left you, instead of 
being very dead indeed, as you must have thought from 
my very long silence. I began a letter, indeed, a long 
while ago ; but, on hearing of the setting off of the box, 
I waited for its arrival, and a precious wait it was. Only 
a month and three days, and my box was still longer in 
going to London. Hurrah for German commerce! It 
must thrive famously with such a quick transit ! One 
might almost as well be in America. 

I had a sharp brush with the Customs' officers after all, 
for they wanted to unpack it at the office, which I would 
not stand. I think I scared Deubel, I was in such a ra<j^e : 
but I gained my point. You know last year they offered 
to send an officer to the house, and even declined to see 
it at all ; so I told them. There was a full declaration of 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



225 



every article, and I was charged for plumhing,'' by which 
I understand the putting of leaden seals on, but there was 
no trace of anything of the kind. To make it worse, I 
have since ascertained that the scoundrels had already 
opened it at Emmerich. This has been such a sickener 
to me that I have made up my mind to leave this place, 
with no very pleasant recollections of its courtesy towards 
strangers. 

However, I shall have my revenge : the materials of 
my book are in London, and so let the Rhinelanders look 
out for squalls. I hope you will like the tackle ; it all 
came safe ; and Wright assures me it is the veiy best 
made, and at the wholesale price. I send the Prince's 
and Wildenbruch's at the same time. The bad weather 
for fishing hitherto will make the delay of less conse- 
quence. Did you ever know such hot and cold, such 
snow and rain ? It has been killing work ; we were all 
well " gripped ; " and a nasty insidious disease it is, leav- 
ing always its marks behind it. I have got all my books 
(save one, which is out of print) for the Prince, in the 
newest fashion of binding. 

Tim, says he, I laughed heartily at your description of 
the fishing at Bromberg, for you seemed in a whimsical 
dilemma enough; and so, after wishing with all your 
heart, soul, and strength to be within reach of salmon, 
you were frightened at them when you had them at 
hand ! 

I should be rather nervous for my tackle myself. It 

would have been no use writing to R , who knows 

no more about it than I do: nor have I any practical 
salmon-fisher of my acquaintance — they are chiefly 
10* ' o 



226 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



Scotch and Irish. But I am pretty certain of this point, 
that there is nothing pecuhar in it from other fly-fishing, 
but that all use stronger tackle, larger bright flies, big as 
butterflies, and that you must play with the fish a won- 
derful deal more, — say half or three quarters of an 
hour, — to wear them out. There is a famous winch 
and line coming with this. If I were you, I would get 
up some sort of a German rod extempore, put this wincli 
on it, and make the experiment before risking your good 
rod. For myself, Johnny, I must give up all hope of 
ever wetting a line at Bromberg ; not only are my 
marching days over, but I fear I shall never be able to 
travel again. I am now sure that this climate, so warm 
in summer and so cold in winter, does not suit my Eng- 
lish blood. Inflammatory disorders are the besetting 
sin of the place. Witness poor Dilke. And at my last 

attack Dr. told me he saw the same thing every day. 

The man w^ho bled me, and there are several bleeders 
here, told me he had attended eighty that month. More- 
over, I had been not merely moderate, but abstemious ; 
at one time only drank Jane's ginger-wine, and at my last 
attack was actually only taking two glasses of wine a 
day. We even get good English porter now at the 
Treves Hotel, and I dare not touch it 1 

This low diet does not at all suit me. When I was a 
boy I was so knocked about by illness (and in particular 
by a scarlet fever so violently that it ended in a dropsy) 
that as I grew up I only got over it by living rather 
well. Besides, as all doctors know, studious pursuits 
exhaust the body extremely, and require stimulus at 
times, so I have made up my mind to decamp. My pres- 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



227 



ent idea is per Cologne and Aix to Ostend or Antwerp, 
when I shall be able to get over to England in a few 
hours at any time, if necessary ; and should I get strength 
to travel, I can see something of Belgium and France. 
I rather incline to Ostend on account of the sea air, which 
always does me great good. I shall regret the children 
not completing their German here ; but the difficulty of 
intercourse (which neutralizes all my efforts to be early 
with my books) and the climate forbid it ; and, in addi- 
tion, I have quite a disgust to Coblenz, or rather its 
inhabitants. I have begun German myself, through 

L , but that must be at an end. I find him as a 

German Jew better than the Jew Germans of the 
place. I have not seen the General, " cos why ? " I 
have only crossed the door three times, perhaps six, since 
I came from Berlin. But I shall call some day be- 
fore I go. AVhen my plan is once arranged I shall go at 
once. Towards the end of this month, I suppose, I shall 
trouble the chub again for the last time. I have some 
famous large chub flies by the box — some like small 
cockchafers. I am not sure whether my chest will stand 
the casting. It is miserable work, Tim, to be such a 
shattered old fellow as I am; when you, who are in 
years my senior, are gallivanting about like a boy of nine- 
teen ! The artist who is coming out to take my portrait 
will have a nice elderly, grizzled head to exhibit ! What ! 
that pale, thin, long face the Comic ! Zounds ! I must 
gammon him, and get some friend to sit for me. Apropos, 
I sent up two months ago a box full of sketches of my 
Rhine book ; and I had managed such a portrait of 
D in a Rhenish spare bed ! I have drawn, too, the 



228 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



captain, who gave me leave to make use of his jolly red 
nose, Mr. Schultz, Mrs. Schultz, and all, not forgetting 
the maid in the pillory-ruff at Burg-Kremnitz. D'ye 
know, Johnny, I half suspect the Rhinelanders opened my 
box going down, and were not best pleased at my sketches 
of some of the dirty dandies hereabouts, which perhaps 
makes 'em so uncivil. Should all happen that I have 
wished to the Coblenzers in general, and the Douane in 
particular, during the last ten days, they will be far from 
comfortable. Only imagine that I blessed everything for 
them down to their pipes. They have the worst of the 
French character without the best of the German. I 
have no news to tell you about them ; how^ should we 
pick up any, for we are not on speaking terms with any 
one in the place, save the two teachers. Nor have I 
been to the Military Casino, so that I cannot answer 
your inquiry how the young ladies take the loss of 
the 19th. 

I have just asked L if there is any local news. 

He know^s nothing except that this last winter there have 
been more balls and parties than usual, so that the ladies 
have not kept their faith to the 19th. 

As to the breaking off the verlohbing with Yon B. 
we have not heard one word about it. How should we ? 
Perhaps it is not true, but has only been reported to quiz 
you, and make you fancy you have a chance again. But 
I will drop that subject, or I shall make you as savage as 
you were one night with me and Wildegans, and even 
with yourself, till I expected you would call yourself out. 
Oh, Tim, she enjoyed hitting you over the heart, hke the 
man who had a donkey, with " a bit of raw." 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



229 



She is learning English, of course for your sake says 
you — but I forget ! I see you in fancy twisting your 

moustaches and pouting. Mrs. N , through L 's 

means, is reading some of my Comics. 

I guess they will puzzle her pretty considerably. Also 

Mrs. A has had them. She and Captain A 

have been living at the Weisser Ross for months, and he 
is a member of my club ; but w^e have not met, and they 
are now going. I am not sorry to have missed them, for 
I saw them pass, and they not only look queer people, 
but awfully Scotch ! Besides, we have had our share of 
luck in picking up friends on that side the water. 

Since writing the foregoing, Tim, I am a little better ; 
but was n't I in luck, after spitting blood and being bled, 
to catch the rheumatism in going down-stairs. I ordered 
leeches on my foot, and the wounds bled all night, so I 
was uncommonly low, as you may imagine. I suppose J. 
shall get out some day. This morning I w^as going to 
have a ride for the first time, but it clouded over, and I 
gave it up. What a precious season we have had — 
eight months' winter. But now the ice will be broken 
up, and you will be blessing me for not sending your 
tackle. It has had to wait here almost a week for a 
frach-wagen, which only goes on Sundays. I had little 
or no news from London by the package, but I have 
heard that poor Dilke is in a very precarious state : he 
doesn't rally well, and the least illness flies to the old 
place. The last account, though, was a little better. 

What do you think, Tim, of a black man, who by 
dancing and singing ojie little song called " Jim Crow,'* 
has cleared, in London and America, 30,000/. ! There 's 



230 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



one string to your bow for you ! I never heard of the 
history of the bit of Stilton that went on to Bromberg. 
The Cheshire we send makes Welsh rabbits well — don't 
forget to try it. Also you will find some ginger for 
ginger-beer. I send a box of lozenges for " Ganserich," 
for the cold drill mornings. I shall always be glad that 
I saw you as far on your road as I could ; but when I 
look back and think how very little I have stirred out of 
the house ever since I came from Berlin, that march 
seems to me a dream. 

I do not think that the book about it will come out 
before the next Comic. I have been so delayed, the 
spring season for publishing is over. You'll be sure 
to have it. I have drawn you just as you came dripping 
out of the Lahn, and I mean to try some way or other to 
commemorate Wildegans. Tom Junior does not forget 
any of you. The other day he pointed to that old fat 
major or colonel of the 29th, who walks about with a 
thick stick, and laughed, and said : " There is Franck." 

He says " Franck bought Bello — Bello is Tom's 
dog " — and he always toasts Vildidans and Tarlyvitz 
when he gets a drop of wine. He talks a strange jumble 
of English and German, and English according to the 
German Grammar. That is hims," " There is you's 
chair," " Will you lend it for me," &c., &c. Fanny is 
very well again, and very good ; Jane is as usual ; she is 
now drinking porter, at which I look half savage. Only 
think, porter and Cheshire cheese, and I dare n't take 
both / I must n't even sip, and I long to swig. Nothing 
but water. I shall turn a fish soon, and have the pleasure 
of angling for myself. I am almost melancholy, for I 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 231 



never had any serious fears about my health before ; my 
lungs were always good. But now I think they are 
touched too. I 've had a sort of plaister on my chest 
which will not heal; but I won't bother you with my 
symptoms. In spite of all this, I ordered this morning a 
new fishing-jacket — a green one ; so you see I mean to 
show fight, and keep on my legs as long as I can. But 
one must reckon the fishing calendar a month later; 
those that used to spawn in May will do it in June, I 
expect. Of course they would not come out while there 
was snow. I meant to have got some gudgeons this 
month, which is the prime, or ought to be the best 
season — but this is all gone by. I have such difficulty 
in writing, I cannot send you so long a letter as I should 
wish : it is some exertion to me at present to think of 
any thing: I am obliged to keep myself quiet. 

Moreover there is so little news stirring that it is not 
easy to fill up a letter. Mind and give my remembrances 
most kindly to every one of my old comrades, and 
pray thank them for thinking of me. I only wish I 
could put myself under our Captain's orders again, and 
have to trouble your Quartermaster. 

It will be a pleasant subject for life for me to think 
upon that same march — for though I was not on speak- 
ing terms with many of your officers, I was not the less 
friendly. Do not forget my best respects to the Colonel, 
whenever you see him, — nor my comphments to the 
Major : I suppose Carlovicz is not with you, but send our 
regards to him — and tell him Tom is an excellent mas- 
ter to Bello — indeed more attentive to him than to me 
even — for at the least scratch at the door, whatever play 



232 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



he is engaged in, lie breaks off to go and let in his dog. 
Say everything kind to Wildegans — he and I ought to 
insure each other's lives. I hope he likes the Bromber- 
gian quarters. 

I cannot give more particular messages, for the names 
are very difficult to spell — but I trust to you not to omit 
my compliments to every officer of my acquaintance in 
our regiment. I must, however, especially name my own 
quarter-comrades Von Bonkowski, and Von Heugel, of 
whose attentions I retain a grateful impression, often re- 
curring in memory to Hagelstadt, Burg Kremnitz, Ni- 
chel, and Schlunkendorf. Pray give me all the regimen- 
tal news when you write. I shall not leave here till 
June — and, at all events, you shall hear from me before 
I move. We have our lodgings till 15th July, but shall 
not stay so long as that ; and now, old fellow, God bless 
you, and send you all sorts of luck, and happiness, and 
sport, and promotion — everything you wish. May you 
I)ull out salmons, and may salmons pull you in, but with- 
out drowning you. I say, Tim, says he, if I was at 
Bromberg would n't we have fun ; but that 's over. So 
as Mahomet said to the mountain — "why if I can't 
come to you, why you must come to me." Farewell and 
Amen, says, my dear Johnny, 

Yours ever truly, 

Thomas Hood. 

Rather better to-night. 

Your box leaves here with this — acknowledge receipt 
of all. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



233 



752, Alten Graben, Saturday, April, 1837. 

My dear Franck, 

I quite forgot to ask in my letter for what I wanted. 
If you can spare it then, not otherwise, please to send me 
the book the old clergyman gave you on the march, of 
military songs. 

I mean that where he says his sweetheart is his belt, 
his knapsack, his firelock, &c., &c. ; if you have it not, 
tell me the name of it.* 

* I give the literal translation of this song, and the comment on it, 
from " Up the Rhine." Would not Mr. Theodore Martin translate it 
well? — T. H. 

" It smacks of the very spirit of Uncle Toby and Corporal Trim, 
and seems written with the point of a bayonet on the parchment of a 
drum. 

** LOVE LANGUAGE OF A MERRY YOUNG SOLDIER. 

" 0, Gretel, my Dove, my heart's Trumpet, 
My Cannon, my Big Drum, and also my Musket, 
Oh, hear me, my mild little Dove, 
In your still little room. 

" Your portrait, my Gretel, is always on guard. 
Is always attentive to Love's parole and watchword; 
Your picture is always going the rounds — 
My Gretel I call at every hour. 

" My heart's knapsack is always full of you, 
My looks they are quartered with you ; 
And when I bite off the top-end of a cartridge 
Then I think that I give you a kiss. 

" You alone are my Word of Command and Orders, 
Yea, my Right-face, Left-face, Brown-Tommy, and Wine, 
And at the word of command, ' Shoulder arms,' 
Then I think you say, ' Take me in your arms.' 



234 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



I have heard from London, and am happy to say Dilke 
is considerably better, wliich is a very great reli(^f to us. 
All concur in advising me to quit this ; in fact, I feel 
sure that another winter and summer here would kill me 
between them. 

So we are going — that's decided — on the 1st of 
June — a week earlier if we can get all our arrange- 
ments made. I am better, and feel quite pleased with 
the thought of leaving Coblenz, of wliich I am heartily 
sick — for it has nothing now to make us regret it, but 
the mere beauty of the scenery. We shall go to Ostend 
for the sea : if we do not like it to Bruges, Ghent, or 
Brussels, for as I do not expect to come to the Continent 
again, I mean to see a little of Flanders and France, 
should I be strong enough, while there ; and then we are 
so near we can pass over to England in a few hours 
whenever we like. 

Dilke says he will not swear he won't come over to 
see us, though he had such bad luck in his visit to us 
here. There is a gentleman coming out shortly with 
the Comics, so I will send you one, and one for Prince 
Charles, if you like to send it. By the time you receive 
this I hope you will have your box quite safe. Don't 

" Your eyes sparkle like a Battery, 
Yea, they wound like Bombs and Grenades; 
Black as Gunpower is your hair, 
Your hand as white as Parading-breeches. 

" Yes, you are the Match, and I am the Cannon; 
Have pity, my love, and give Quarter, — 
And give the word of command, ' Wheel round 
Lito my heart's Barrack Yard.' " 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



235 



forget to toast some of your cheese, it makes famous 
Welsh rabbits. We sup on them four nights a week. I 
suppose, Johnny, all my fishing will "suffer a sea 
change," and I must adapt my tackle for flounders, soles, 
whiting, cod, and mackerel. 

As to wittles and drink, Coblenz is worse than ever. 
There is no Bavarian beer now, and no Westphalian 
hams ! Deubel pulls a very long face at our going, and 
no wonder, for there are lists of "lodgings to let" as 
long as your arm. I never saw so many before. I am 
riding out every fine day to gain strength, and bid good 
bye to the views. We don't take Katchen with us, who 
has been trying hard to go, as well as to be made resid- 
uary legatee as to all our things here — modest impu- 
dence ! 

Tim, says he, I saw a fight between men here the 
other night for the first time. It was good fun, two to 
one ; and did n't they pull hair like gals, and then haul 
him down, and give him a good unfair beating while he 
lay on the ground ! And did n't he go away, wiping his 
bloody nose, for good as I thought, but came back again 
with three or four allies ; and the others, at least one of 
the others, was ready with a mighty big bit of wood ; 
and did n't the women squall, and run out to see with 
candles, though it was hardly dusk ; and did n't they 
screech like a knife on a plate, and lug the men about ! 
Then the fellows all gobbled like turkey-cocks — such 
explosions of gutturals ! You know what thick voices 
the common people have. And then they began to fight 
again ; and a lot of men, women, and children bolted up 
all sorts of streets, sauve qui pent. I don't know how it 
ended, so I won't say. 



236 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



And now, old fellow, God bless you. I will write 
again with the Comic when it comes. The Dilkes desire 
kind remembrance to you; so does Jane, and Fanny 
ditto, and Tom ditto ditto. Don't forget me to all the 
19 th, including the staff, and believe me, from my top 
joint to my butt, 

My dear Tim, 

Yours very truly, 

Thomas Hood. 

752, Alten Graben, Coblenz, April 29ih, 1837. 

My dear Doctor, 
Many thanks for your kind letter ; it positively did me 
good. But you seem seldom to put pen to paper without 
that effect, whether in letters or prescriptions. I wrote 
a very brief notice of the state of my health to Mr. 
Wright. 

The Germans drink low sour wines, and have a hor- 
ror here of anything that heats them in the way of drink, 
such as Spanish wine, &c. Yet, in spite of this care, 
they are subject to inflammatory attacks very commonly. 
The grippe here took that character very decidedly. 

Fanny was obliged to have leeches on her face. 
Tom's was highly inflamed, and had a great discharge 
from his nose and behind his ear, which were very sore. 
Mr. Dilke's attack here was attended with strong inflam- 
mation. We have heard only yesterday of an English 
lady obliged to have leeches ; in fact, there are standing 
advertisements in the town papers where leeches are to 
be had cheap. I k7iow of three barber-surgeons who 
bleed ; there may be more. The one who bled me in 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



237 



February is only just set up, and he told me he had bled 
eighty that month ; one may say two hundred and fifty, 
between the three operators, with safety. Inflamed eyes 
are extremely common here, and there is a peculiar 
inflammation of the whole face called the "rose." I 
dare say the causes may be found in the very great 
changes of temperature here, both abroad and at home. 
The sun is very much warmer than in England, and the 
winds are much colder. 

It is dangerous to pass from the sun into the shade. 
Then in the houses their mode of building is the worst 
possible. This one is a fair sample. Below, a passage 
right through the house, with front door to the street 
and back door to the yard, always open till after ten at 
night. From the middle of this passage a w^ell staircase 
right up through the house, terminating in the garrets, 
where the high roofs are full of unglazed windows or 
holes, for the special purpose of creating draughts for 
drying linen. On this stair, or open landings, all your 
room-doors open ; so that you step out of a close stove- 
heated room into a thorough draught of the street air. 
I tried it once by thermometer : the room was 60°, and 
outside 45°. The winters are very cold, and doubly so 
in these comfortless buildings. I used to fancy the Ger- 
mans never cut their hair, by way of defence against 
cold in the head, but I saw two fight the other day, and 
the hair was of the greatest feminine use, namely, to pull 
at. My last attack of spitting blood came on the mo- 
ment after going down the stairs ; and the first time I 
came up them again I caught the rheumatism, and had 
leeches on my foot, which bled all night. So I am some- 



238 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



what reduced, and the diet here is anything but nourish- 
ing. Take for example the present bill of fare : no fish 
ever, no poultry now, no game of course, never any pork, 
veal killed at a week old, beef from cart-cows, and 
plough-bullocks, which when cold is as dry and almost 
as white as a deal board. The very bread is bad, poor 
wheat mixed with rye and inferior meals. The people 
are poor, and the ground is wretchedly over-cropped. 
It is a beautiful country indeed to the eye^ but I shall not 
regret leaving it. There are no books within reach, and 
no society, which I need not to care about, for the tor- 
pidity or apathy of mind in these people is beyond belief. 
German phlegm is no fable ; but you will have a book 
about them next half-year with plenty of sketches. The 
communication, too, with London is so vexatious and 
slow (it takes above a month) as to be a serious evil to 
me. I had resolved on a change on this account alone, 
when my last illness clenched my decision. We are 
going to Ostend, where I shall be not only within reach 
of England, but hope to be benefited by the sea-air, 
which always did me the most marked good. I have 
tried in vain to master German, partly from its difiiculty, 
and partly from having only the intervals between my 
attacks for all I had to write or draw. But Fanny talks 
it fluently, and Tom understands it perfectly as well as 
English. Fanny is very well now ; and Tom a fine 
hearty fellow, full of fun, which his motley jargon makes 
very comic. The too, Avears very well. For 

myself, I keep up my spirits on my toast-and-water, 
which is all I drink, save tea and coffee, and seem rally- 
ing again. I have a sort of appetite, too, if there were 
anything worth eating. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



239 



I really cannot do as the invalids do here. Mrs. Den- 
bel, our landlady, as the first luxury on recovering from 
the grippe, comforted her inside with a mess of dried 
bullaces in sour wine ! Head only tells half the truth, 
for instance, of the breeches maker, who ate a bowl-full 
of plums ; but he does n't hint that he swallowed all the 
stones. I know that 's their way of eating cherries ! I 
could tell you some strange stories. The mortality here 
has been great, but of young children it is painfully so 
all the year round. And no wonder — the other day a 
mother called in a barber-surgeon to save expense. The 
child had a rash — he put ice on the head — turned the 
red spots blue and black, and it died. 

When we are at Ostend you will perhaps be tempted 
to come over, and see us and the country. 

The cities in Belgium are interesting, and all within 
easy reach. I think I shall make a strange sitting to an 
artist, who wants my portrait for next year's exhibition ! 

I look more like the Rueful Knight than a Professor 
of the Comic. 

Pray tell Mrs. Elliot that the man at Moselweis, 
whither we went by moonlight, who had only a bit of 
plum tart in his house, failed subsequently, as might be 
expected, but another has taken the gardens, and they 
are as popular as ever. I hope it has not given her 
a taste for White Conduit House, and the like. But 
it was a sample of our German manners and amuse- 
ments. 

I have not learned smoking yet ; but hate it worse 
than ever, since I see its effects on the mind and the per- 
son. However, should I leave Germany, I have intro- 



240 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



duced angling and am the Izaak Walton of the Rhine, 
Moselle, and Lalin. 

I shall write a less selfish egotistical letter when I get 
to Ostend, to tell you how it agrees with me, as well as 
some little anecdotes, &;c., I have not now time or space 
to get in ; besides being a little weary of holding my pen. 
I flag at times rather suddenly, of course from weakness. 
Jane promises to write too, when settled, in answer to 
Mrs. E.'s kind letter, to wdiom she sends her kind re- 
gards with mine ; and Fanny begs to mingle — not for- 
getting Wily. 

I am, my dear Doctor, 

Very truly yours, 

Thos. Hood. 

I was ordered lately a sort of slow blister on the chest, 
which would only stick on by help of strips of adhesive 
plaister. 

The grippe seemed to cause a great deal of this hu- 
mour here. 

It has been a nasty malignant disease, infinitely worse 
than the influenza as we used to have it in England. 
The people have a great horror of what they call a ner- 
vous fever. They say the French brought it from Mos- 
cow. But I suspect the sour wines here are very bad, 
per se. 

752, Alten Graben, Coblenz, May 'kth, 1837. 

My dear Wright, 

* * * * 

As regards " Up the Rhine," I am glad you liked the 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



241 



drawings ; you are right about them, they will require 
engraving^ and I should like them well done. They are 
not like the Comic cuts, mere jokes ; but portraits and 
fac-similes of the people, &c., and should be correctly 
done. I hope to make it altogether a superior book. I 
shall have another set of good ones to send you ; which 
you may show to Harvey if you like. I had a rare 
bother about the box with the customs. It had been 
opened at the frontier ; and they wanted to open it again 
here. But I had them — some wet had got in, and the 
blocks were almost wet, and one of the bindings was a 
little stained by damp. I admire the style of the Prince's 
books. I did not venture any more than you to open the 
Prince's things, they seemed so well packed, but sent 
them off as they were. And Franck's are gone, too, 
with a bit of cheese ! It is very good, and toasts capi- 
tally. Ain't it provoking for me ? — by chance we can 
get porter here just now, and I dare n't touch a drop of it 
with my cheese ! I 'm on toast and water, though very 
low and weak. But I am getting better ; and, as the 
weather improves, shall ride out. I am delighted to 
think of leaving here ; it is a beautiful country, and liv? 
ing is cheap ; but I am worn out by these repeated 
attacks and delays, with anxiety to boot ; and it is most 
dismally dull here now. No one to converse with, and I 
cannot see a book or know what is going on in the liter- 
ary world — the " Athenaeum " excepted ; that is some- 
thing. But the worst of the " Athenaeum " is, it makes 
me long to read some of the books it reviews. Then the 
diet is so wretched for an invalid, and the domestic com- 
forts few. The country is anything but the land of corn, 

VOL. I. 11 p 



242 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



wine, milk, and honey one would think to look at it ; and 
the people are hateful — I mean unbearable — to Eng- 
lishmen. They hate us I am quite convinced. I have 
given up any idea of colouring my sketches, except per- 
haps a bit here and there, as the caps in some carnival 
figures to show they are the tricolour. 

It is quite a comfort to us that Dilke is better ; he is 
an old man though, he says. We were uneasy about 
him. He says that, in spite of his sorry Rhenish trip, he 
won't swear not to visit us at Ostend. Now that would 
be quite a practicable distance for you, and it would do 
us both good. I have some projects I could concert with 
you there. I fancy already that I sniff the sea, and feel 
it bracing me. I once literally left my bed for the first 
time to get into the Brighton coach, and the next morn- 
ing but one I was walking on the shingles. The sea is 
life to me. I propose to quit here about the 1st of 
June, — sooner if I can. 

We talked with our landlord to-day about going. His 
naturally extra-long face grew still longer. He com- 
plained bitterly of the state of trade, want of money, 
&c. ; and unluckily for him, though when I first came to 
Coblenz I could hardly find a single place, there is now 
a list in the paper, as long as your arm, of lodgings and 
houses to let. I have been trying to learn German, but 
it is very hard ; I am too deaf to catch the pronuncia- 
tion, and when I do, can't imitate it. And the grammar 
is hard, and the construction too. The Germans are fond 
of long-winded sentences ; and as the verb comes at the 
end, you 're very much bothered. My teacher is a Jew, 
a Doctor of Philosophy, and talks English, so I hoped 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



243 



for some conversation ; but wherever we set out it ends 
in buying, selling, and bartering. He is going to leave 
Coblenz in about a month. We went all of us to tea 
there the other day, and ate up all their Passover cakes 
but two, and they must not just now eat anything else. 

My fancies now are rather piscivorous, — I am think- 
ing of skate, brill, turbot, dabs, and flounders, and even 
what Jane once resented so, a red-spotted plaice. I have 
at times quite longed for oysters, fancying they would 
agree well with me — they are considered so nourishing. 
Dilke would call me a humbug if I say there 's little 
nourishment on the Rhine, but so it is, and it gets worse. 
Last year Bavarian beer was to be had, none this ; West- 
phalian hams ditto. And yet, oh yet when I look at the 
Rhine, it is a lovely country, and I love the beautiful. I 
shall see all I can before I go, as I can carry all the 
scenery vividly in my mind. 

We have missed De Franck much. By accounts from 
him he likes Bromberg ; it is a superb place for fishing ; 
but after wishing for salmon, they are so large there he 's 
afraid to attack them on account of his tackle. I expect 
there will be some droll work there. There are enor- 
mous fish in their lakes, and all the party are unused to 
our tackle : the Germans fish by main force. We have 
a sea fish here, they call a May fish, comes as high as 
this, but we do not expect it this season ; it is a very 
inferior sort of bass. 

« « « « 

I am glad to hear you liked my letters on copyright : 
I have got the "Athenaeum" with the second part. I 



244 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



think, remembering T , I let off the booksellers pretty 

easily. I was glad at having such a subject in the 
"Athena3um;" when I get nearer I hope to be in print 
there more frequently ; for here, things I should like to 
have my say on are gone by before I can come at them. 
Ostend will be next best to being in London. I have 
some thoughts of beginning a new series with next Comic 
if I can hit on any novelty to distinguish it. I have a 
dim idea of one in my head. 

The heat here is sudden, and would try us all if we 
stayed through June. Jane, who has conquered a little 
German for household use, will have to learn a new jar- 
gon. They talk, I believe bad Dutch and French, and I 
expect English also. The cities are very interesting, 
and easy to get to — famous pictures to be seen ; so, if 
you contemplate coming, I will reserve my visits to them 
for your company. I have lots of funny things to tell 
you. When Dilke was here I did not get a single gossip 
with him, he was too ill to talk or be talked to ; and when 
better I was away at Berlin : so I should also stand some 
chance here of dying of a suppression of ideas. Jane is 
hearty in health now : Fanny very good, reads a good 
deal, and remembers it to good purpose. As for Tom, 
he is a fine, funny, spirited fellow, with a good temper, 
and very strong. Yours that I remember must be get- 
ting into big boys. My godson ain't much the better for 
his godfather's Christian looking-after, is he ? And mine 
are away from their godparents among Roman Catholics 
and Jews. Fanny makes crosses of wax, and Tom is 
very fond of Passover cakes. Our maid is a Roman 
Catholic, but the easiest one I ever saw. She confesses 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



245 



only once a year, and very seldom goes to mass, from 
sheer indolence. She is the most phlegmatic being I 
ever saw. 

" Should the whole frame of Nature round her break, 
She unconcerned would hear the mighty crack — " 

provided it did not hurt herself; a fig for German phi- 
losophy — it 's all selfishness. 

Pray give our kindest regards to Mrs. Wright, and the 
same to yourself I do now live in hooes to see you be- 
fore long, and so remain. 

My dear Wright, 

Yours ever truly, 

Thomas Hood. 

Pray don't forget to remember me to E. Smith, and 
recommend to him, in my name, to hold his shoulders in- 
stead of his sides when he laughs. Did I ever tell you 
that there is a young man over the way so like you we 
call him " John Wright." N. B. I will try to fatten my 

face up for Mr. Lewis against he comes ! Tell B to 

beware of falling out of gigs during a commercial crisis, 
or people may think he 's broken. God bless you ! Kind 
regards to Harvey and all friends. 

At this time we finally quitted Coblenz, travelling 
down the Rhine by successive day's stages. The railroad 
was then only just commencing, which has since afforded 
such increased facilities of speed and comfort. It is to 
be regretted that so little was known of Germany and 
Belgium in those days. My father's constitution was as 



246 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



unfitted for the miasmatic swamps and mists of Ostend, 
as for the alternate extremes of heat and cold at Coblenz. 
But for his exile to these countries — an exile which he 
underwent for the faults of others — he might still be 
delighting the world with the later fruit of a genius that 
had barely attained its maturity at the time of his death. 

39, Rue Longue, Ostexd, June 28ih, 1837. 
My dear Wright, 
You will see from the above address that we are not 
only safe here, but settled, after a prosperous but slow 
journey ; nothing lost or broken but a little bottle of 
marking-ink, so that it was luckily performed, with the 
advantage of fine weather to boot. Our exit from Coblenz 
was worthy of the entrance : the farce did not, like many 
modern ones, fall off at the end. We had a famous row 
with our landlord. He rushed up his own stairs, and 
shouted from the top, " Dumme Englander ! " and then 

Jane had a scrimmage with him. R i played the 

Italian traitor to both sides all the time. Finally, just 
on the gunwale of the packet, as it were, they gave us a 
finishing touch ; for Jane called to pay a bookseller on 
the road, and he made her pay for a number more than 
she had had. 

As for Katchen, she cried at the parting point — part- 
ly, I suppose, because we did not take her with us (for 
she told all her friends she intended it), and partly be- 
cause she was bidding farewell to good wages and to 
enough to eat — a case, by her own account, rather un- 
common with servants in Coblenz. We had a fine trip 
down to Cologne, lodged comfortably, and took a coach 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



247 



to Liege, with an old coacliman, oddly enough, of the very 
family we were going to visit. Next night at Imperial 
Aix^and the following one, after a long pull, and a fine, 
but tremendously hot, day at M. Nagleraacher's at Liege. 
He has a beautiful country seat an hour's drive from the 
city ; but I was so exhausted with heat and fatigue I could 
scarcely speak, and kept my room all the evening, but 
rested there, and enjoyed the two next days extremely. 

There are beautiful grounds, rhododendrons, hill, wood, 
and all quite to my taste, with a superb view. Moreover, 
one of the most amiable and accomplished families I ever 
met with. The lady paints in oils beautifully. I really 
took them for good Dutch pictures. A dehghtful sweet 
girl about ten made Fanny very happy, and Tom raced 
about like a young Red Indian, till he was half baked in 
the sun. 

The Nagelmache;'s all speak French except Made- 
moiselle, so that Jane had to sit very like the matron of 
the Deaf and Dumb School, but she made up for it with 
our friend Miss Moore. We parted sworn friends with 
the Nagelmachers ; ate and slept wretchedly at a dirty 
inn at Tirlemont ; and the next night reached Brussels, 
where we rested the Sunday, too tired to stir out, except 
the children, who went to see St. Gudule. Besides, it 
was wet weather. I started next day with a new coach- 
man for Ghent. Slept at Ghent, and thence by track- 
shuyt (or barge) through Bruges to this place, where we 
arrived at seven in the evening in good style rather as to 
fatigue, after such a long pull with children, luggage, and 
b^-d health. I ventured to drink a glass of porter on 
leaving Brussels, which helped me up amazingly, as for 



248 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



four or five months previously I had not positively touched 
wine, beer, or spirit, till that hour. I then thought I 
might have held the curb too tightly, but there was no 
more porter to be had all the rest of the way. Jane, of 
course, is fatigued very much, but no more than Wiis to 
be expected. 

To do poor Fanny and Tom justice, they were models 
for grown travellers, ate and drank whatever came before 
them, slept when tired, waked all alive, talked and made 
friends with everybody — waiters, maids, coachmen, and 
all — so much so, that the coach was loaded with large 
bouquets of purple and white lilac, and other flowers : 
got into no scrapes except from exuberant fun, and came 
in at the end as fresh as larks, though almost roasted from 
sitting in the coach with their backs to the sun and no 
bhnds. 

Give my remembrance to all, and come as soon, and 
stay as long, as you can, Jane begs to say ditto, as I feel 
sure it would do me good, body and mind, to see friends. 

Yours, ever truly, 

Thos. Hood. 

39, EuE LoxGUE, OsTEXD, SOtli Junc, 1837. 
Mt dear Wright, 
Do not forget to write yourself, whenever you mean to 
come, that we may meet you at the landing-place, and I 
trust it will not be long before we have that pleasure ; 
and have the kindness to bring with you the articles 
mentioned at the end, chiefly books. I hope Mr. and 
Mrs. Dilke will come to see us in our new quarters, or 
we shall die of suppressed jokes, stories, and arguments 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



249 



we were to have had on the Rhine. We are just recov- 
ering from the fatigue of our journey — poor wretched 
travellers that we are — and I begin to enjoy myself as 
well as my weakness will permit. 

We have now been here a week, and I have exposed 
myself to the sea-breeze to judge of its powers ; and, as 
it has had no evil effect on my lungs, I begin to hope 
they are not very unsound, and that in other respects for 
sea-side enjoyment there cannot be a better place. 

The Esplanade is very fine, and the sands famous 
for our brats, who delight in them extremely. We 
munch shrimps morning and night, as they are very 
abundant, and quite revel in the fish. I have dined 
several days on nothing else, and it is such a comfort 
to think of only that strip of sea between us, quick 
communication by packets, and posts four times a week, 
that I feel quite in spirits as to my work, and hopeful 
as to my health. I am very weak, but otherwise as 
well as can be expected from such repeated attacks. 

But I have moved only just in time, for I feel con- 
vinced the Rhine was killing me : between hurry, worry, 
delay, tedium, disgust, the climate, and the diet, and the 
consciousness with all these disadvantages, of no very 
great improvement besides in health. I write a long 
letter by this same post to Dr. Elliot, with further partic- 
ulars that I may have the benefit of his advice, how to 
live and keep alive. 

I have now the comfort of thinking, that whatever 
I may do will not be long in reaching you, whether 
blocks or MS. It will even be possible here to see 
the proofs ; not that I undervalue your kindness in 
11* 



250 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 

that respect, but the German book would have unusual 
difficulties as to names, words, &c. I shall see some 
of the Germans here, as some come for bathing ; and 
I propose, if strong enough, to take a trip, bj-and-bv, 
through the old Flemish cities, which are well worth 
seeing. Perhaps we may get together to one or two 
of them, as the communication is easy. 

Bring with you such of the German cuts as are 
engraved, and arrange for as long a stay as you can, 
as it will do me good to converse a little about old 
times. The first news we had on arrival here was of 
the King's death, a kind old friend of mine. I do not 
mourn for him visibly, for it is too hot for blacks ; and 
the English here, who are all blacked at top, or bottom, 
or in the middle, no doubt take me for an extreme Tory 
or Radical. The King and Queen of Belgium come 
here in a fortnight ; so that I shall be the neighbour 
of royalty, as they will live in our street, only three 
or four doors off. I am rather tired from writing at 
length to Elliot ; and, moreover, feeling you are to come 
soon, I do not care to pen what I would rather say 
personally. So, with kind regards to Mrs. W., in which, 
with love to yourself and the boys, Jane and Fanny 
join, not forgetting my godson in particular, 
I am, dear W., 

Yours ever truly, 

Thos. Hood. 

Tom, whom I have told of your hand,* expects you, 

* This is an allusion to an accident which happened to ^Ir. Wright's 
hand while he was out shooting. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



251 



and even anticipates your appearance. You would laugh 
to see him walk with one arm trussed up like a fowl's 
wing, as he expects to see you. 

OsTEND, June 27th, 1837. 

Mt dear Dr. Elliot, 

^ ¥^ ^ ^ 

I will now give you a sketch of our departure from 
Coblenz. Beautiful as the Rhine is, I left its banks 
without the slightest regret. Coblenz I was particularly 
delighted to turn my back upon, for it was associated 
with nothing but illness, suffering, disgust, and vexation 
of spirit. I left not a single friend or acquaintance with 
a sigh. Lieutenant de Franck being at Bromberg since 
October, and everything I had to do with the people, 
especially at the end, was attended by circumstances of 
a kind almost to disgust one with human nature. The 
history of our last ten days would present only a series 
of petty robberies, just short of open force : lying, dis- 
simulation, treachery, " malice, hatred, and all uncharita- 
bleness." 

First, a shopkeeper took a shilling, or its German 
equivalent, and swore it was only sixpence ; then the 
work-girl stole a handsome book, a recent present from 
London to Fanny ; then came a bill for half-a-year in- 
stead of a quarter ; then our maid grumbled because, as 
we were going away, our tradespeople no longer tipped 
her ; and then our landlord, knowing our witness was at 
Bromberg, flatly denied a verbal agreement, and wanted 
to make me repair, &c. As a sample of his conscience, 
he demanded sixteen dollars for whitewashing. I sent 



252 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



for a man, who offered to whitewash the whole place for 
four and a-half, and the rascal himself took six. He, 
moreover, conducted himself so that I threatened him 
with a gens d'arme, whereupon he retreated, and vented 
himself by shouting, " Dumme Englanders ! Stupid Eng- 
lishers ! " from the top of his own stairs. 

Between our broken German and his broken French 
it made a tolerable farce. Then a civil functionary and 
his wife condescended to call and beg some of our furni- 
ture and our stock of wood ! In fact, they cheated us to 
the water's edge ; for Jane called to pay a bookseller a 
door or two from the packet office, and he made her pay 
for a book we had never had. And, finally, Jane only 
discovered yesterday, that at the very last of the packing 
the maid (not the old thief that you saw, but another) 
had abstracted a new un-worn worked collar. This is 
but a sample of the usual style. In short, with cheating 
and downright thieving, I doubt whether we have econo- 
mised much. At least we might have lived in England 
in the same style (i. e., without carpets and other com- 
forts, according to the national custom here) for the same 
money. 

It is not pleasant, nor even a pecuniary trifle, to pay 
from twenty to thirty per cent, on your whole expendi- 
ture^ for being an Englishman — and you cannot avoid it ; 
but it is still more vexatious to the spirits and offensive 
to the mind to be everlastingly engaged in such a petty 
warfare for the defence of your pocket, and equally 
revolting to the soul to be unable to repose confi- 
dence on the word or honesty of any hum-an being 
around you. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



253 



In aggravation, I am persuaded that the English are 
no favourites with the natives. 

They are too independent to be servile, and, when not 
abject to German despotism, the natives are Frenchified 
and Buonapartists. The proud poor barons detest the 
English for their superior wealth ; and talk who may of 
intellectual Germany, I have found none of their mental 
acquisitions or ability. You will not be surprised to hear, 
that so soon as I found we were out of Prussia, I threw 
up all our caps, hats, and bonnets, with a mental vow 
never to enter the Prussian dominion again. 

Our entrance into Belgium was auspicious, on the 
very finest day of the season. 

The Belgian Douane opened a box or two, mistaking 
me at first (what an unwelcome compliment) for a Prus- 
sian, but passed all the rest. I could have smuggled 
very easily ; but a genuine Prussian, I understand, gets 
well overhauled; and he deserves it, as their own system 
is so rigorous. At Cologne we were so lucky as to get a 
return coach to Liege, and the driver happened to be an 
ex-coachman of M. Nagelmacher's ; so that we had no 
difficulty at all. Madame N. had a German governess 
from near Coblenz ; and (does n't it sound like preju- 
dice ?) she was as disagreeable as her countryfolk. We 
had a laughable description of her dignified descent to 
the kitchen to fetch her supper, and her dignified marches 
up again if it was not ready, for she would not conde- 
scend to ask for it of the servants. The latter all called 
her the Proud German. Here (at Liege) we had two 
days' rest, then slept at Tirlemont, rested another day at 
Brussels, slept at Ghent, and came on here by the canal 



254 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



boat. I saw nothing, being fatigued, of any place we 
passed through. But the cities are all highly interesting, 
and at easy distances ; so that, when I get strong enough, 
I shall go round to them. Brussels seemed a nice little 
city to live in. AVe like the aspect of this place ; the 
sands are capital for the children, who are as happy as 
can be with their shell baskets. 

I ought to tell Tou that little Tom is a capital traveller, 
ate, drank, and slept heartily, was always merry, and 
chatted and made friends with everybody. All the 
coachmen, waiters, maids, &c., were in love with him ; so 
that our trouble was less than might have been expected 
with such a youngling. We had a very narrow escape 
from damp sheets at an hotel at Aix, which advertises 
itself as a connection with the Emperor's bath ; and really 
the bed linen seemed just to have come out of it. So 
we slept without, and the chambermaid had the con- 
science not even to show herself in the morning. 

In my state such a mishap as a damp bed would be 
serious. I could not help remarking that we paid the 
dearest frequently at the worst hotels, as well as the best, 
the middle ones being most reasonable, and in essentials 
most comfortable. 

I found the wide green landscapes of Belgium ver^' 
refreshing ; and the rich clover, fine corn, and handsome 
cattle in the meadows, partake something of the air of 
a Land of Promise, after the delusive sordidness of 
Rhenish Prussia. The extreme cleanhness, too, as, for 
instance, between Bruges and Ghent, was a delicious 
feature after the German filth. But to enjoy them, peo- 
ple should come from the Rhine to Belgium instead of 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



255 



vice versa, the general route of our tourists, who go to 
Antwerp instead of Rotterdam, and thence to Brussels. 
It is no slight relief to hear English and French, and 
even Flemish, instead of that detestable gabble of gut- 
turals, which may account, perhaps, for the German 
partiality to turkey-cocks. The people here are notori- 
ously favourable to the English, and seem civil, good- 
humoured, and obliging. They also look healthy. I 
walked into the market on purpose to observe them, and 
saw only ruddy faces, polished by the sea-air. If they 
cheat us, which 1 do not yet know, they do it with more 
civility and a better manner, which is something per 
contra. 

Our servant took a fancy to Tom, and has brought 
him a little family relic, a china cup and saucer for his 
especial use ; and our landlady actually thinks for us, and 
keeps adding little articles of comfort for our use, though 
I never saw lodgings so completely furnished, even to 
umbrellas ! In my own little room I have a chamber 
organ, should I get weary of grinding my brains. And 
the kitchen, little as it is, is complete, even to an eight- 
day clock. In fact, I feel we are very lucky, for some 
old occupants have already applied for our apartments, 
which speaks well for the people of the house, and the 
place is filling, and every day lodgings get scarcer. 

There are a good many English and some foreigners. 
We shall have a few Germans by-and-by to bathe, so 
that I shall have an opportunity of seeing how they be- 
have when away from home. Our friends, Mr. Wright, 
and probably Mr. Dilke, and probably Mrs. Dilke, are to 
come over to visit us shortly, so that we may have cards 



256 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



now with AT HOME upon them ; it is indeed but a step 
across compared to our late distance ; and I felt it quite 
a comfort to reflect, as I stood on the sand, that there is 
but the sea and a few hours between me and England, 
in case of extremity. I am none of those who do, or 
affect to, undervalue their own country, because they 
happen to have been abroad. There is a great deal of 
this citizen-of-the-worldship professed now-a-days — in 
return for which I think the English only gets ridiculed 
by foreigners as imbeciles and dupes. Overweening 
nationality is an absurdity ; but the absence of it alto- 
gether is a sort of crime. The immense sums drawn 
from England and lavished abroad is a great evil, added 
to other pressures at home. We read that last year the 
Romans were starving on account of the absence of the 
English, deterred by the cholera ; and if such be the 
effect of their absence on a foreign capital or country, it 
must be injurious in as great a degree in their own. The 
Spitalfields weavers starve ; and the waiter at the Belle 
Vue at Coblenz rides his own horse in summer, and in 
winter in his sledge in a cap of crimson velvet ! 

We are luxuriating on fish : it composes (with vegeta- 
bles) my dinner as often as not. 

For six cents we get as many shrimps as we can eat, 
so that in addition to always dining, which was not often 
the case in Coblenz, I always breakfast. 

I sometimes, since I have been here, find myself irre- 
sistibly attacked by sleep in the afternoon ; but I attrib- 
ute it to the morning walk and the sea air, as it has been 
breezy weather, though fine, ever since we came. 

I was never so strong or so stout in my life as after a 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



257 



six weeks at Hastings, when I went to recover from a 
rheumatic fever. I sailed daily fair or rough ; steer- 
ing the boat myself, and drank always on my return 
a large bowl of milk, with bread and butter by way of 
lunch. 

Perhaps if I find the sea air affect me favourably, I 
had better try the boating again, which gives it in an 
intenser dose. \Jp to this point (and at my last walk it 
blew almost a gale), I have not felt any bad effect from 
the sea air, being out at least two hours each time. We 
think of bathing for Tom and Fanny. They visibly are 
better already for the coast. 

Indeed Tom looks quite handsome with his bronzed 
little face and white teeth, and Fanny has acquired a 
good colour ; and there is no keeping them from the 
loaf. We are all in mourning here for the King ; that 
is to say, we wear such black as we happen to have, — 
myself not included, for I feel the heat so that I dress as 
lightly as I can. I have no doubt I pass for something 
extreme therefore in my politics, as the mourning is 
very general here with the English. But, like an old 
man, I give up to ease all dandyism, fashion, or forms 
that might interfere with my comfort, and go in dishabille 
of green and white. 

Indeed the two last years have been as twenty to me 
in effect, and I almost feel as if on the strength of my 
w^eakness I could give advice, and dictate to young men 
who were born no later than myself. However, I hope 
to see you again before I am quite grey and childish ; 
and in the meantime pray accept my felicitations on the 
satisfactory settlement of your brother, with my heart- 

Q 



258 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



felt thanks at the kind interest you have taken in me, 
and every best wish I can think of towards you and 
yours, down to the last little unknown. Jane unites with 
me in kindest regards to Mrs. Elliot and yourself, and 
Fanny begs me to add her love, which is echoed by Tom. 
I am, my dear Doctor, 

Ever truly yours, 

Thomas Hood. 

39, Rue Longue, Ostend, 13th July, 1837. 
My dear Wright, 

* * * * 

We find ourselves very comfortably settled now. If 
you come, there is a spare bed for you, and another for 
the Dilkes ; so that if you should come together there is 
room for all. I am looking anxiously for your coming, 
as I think it would do me good, and give me spirits to 
finish off in style the books for this year. There are 
four mail packets come every week, and one Company's 
steamer. We have had famous weather, not one unfair 
day since we came ; but if you prefer bad weather you 
can wait for it, though I think it will be late this year. 

There are still a few things I should like to have : 
Talfourd's speech on copyright, Tegg's remarks on ditto, 
and Lamb's Letters. I could perhaps make an article 
for Dilke of the latter, and weave into it some anecdotes, 
&c. of Lamb I was collecting before. It is published by 
Moxon. 

I cannot make up my mind to write any particulars to 
you, as I look forward to the pleasure of telling them. I 
get the " Athenaeum " regularly here on the Wednesday ; 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



259 



and have been introduced to' two people here, Colley 
Grattan and — but the other I will show you, and then 
surprise you with his name. 

I wish I could end here without having worse news ; 
but our dehut here has not been in all respects lucky. 
Poor Jane has had a terrible sore throat, so much so, 
that I was obliged to call in a doctor ; who gave her two 
grains of calomel only, but which seemed to revive all 
she had taken in her former illness, and in consequence 
she had her mouth in a dreadful state. A warm bath 
will carry this off, and we have one within a door or 
two ; but she has had a relapse with her throat, probably 
from coming down too soon. I am assured it is not an 
affection belonging to the place, which they say is very 
healthy, and the people look so. Grattan has been here 
some years, and speaks well of it too. Poor Tom has 
had a most severe pinch with the street door, and has 
lost the nail of his finger ; but let 's hope this is all the 
footing we have to pay here. 

And now, my good fellow, come as soon and stay as 

long as you can ; and tell B not to make me quite 

such an Exile of HearirC. And mind do not write to me 
any of your 'poste restante but to the address at the head 
of this. It will save postage if you bring your next 
yourself. I cannot help thinking that perhaps, as the 
French say, you are here next Saturday, in which hope 
I sign and resign myself, dear Wright, 

Yours very truly, 

Thomas Hood. 

Saturday will be St. Swithin's day, so bring your um- 



260 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



brella. That puts me in mind of an impromptu on poor 
William the IVth: — 

" The death of kings is easily explained, 

And thus it might upon his tomb be chiselled — 
* As long as Will the Fourth could reign, he reigned. 
And then he mizzled.' " 

I am contemplating an ode to Queen Victoria for the 
" Athenaeum." You may tell Dilke I think Janin's last 
paper a capital example of political criticism. I own I 
am curious to see T. Tegg's " Remarks on Copyright ; " 
so don't forget it. Pray poke up Dilke : and should he 
have any qualms about coming, scrunch them in the 
shell ! You would do me a world of good among you ; 
and I have never had a palaver with him yet. And it 
would not hurt him. Besides, he went to Margate some 
summers back, and it " ain't to compare " with this for 
selectness and sea. I suppose, and hope, he is tolerably 
well. Unless you come soon, let me have a bulletin, 
rather clearer than those about the King. Why can't the 
Queen make me Consul here ? I don't want to turn 
anybody out, but can't there be nothing-to-do enough for 
two? The King and Queen of Belgium are coming 
here. I rather think the Dilkes, who are very fashion- 
able, are hanging back till they hear the Court is here, 
which makes Jane and me jealous. Mrs. Dilke need not 
bring a bit of soap with her, as they use it here ; it is 
quite a treat to see the clean faces and hands. I could 
kiss the children here about the streets — and the maids 
too. I think the German men kiss each other so be- 
cause, thanks to dirt, there is no fair sex there. Flemish 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



201 



contains many words quite English to the eye. Over the 
taverns here, you see " Hier verkoopt Man Dranky As 
we entered here, just under the words "man drank," sat 
a fellow with a tremendous black eye, quite as if on pur- 
pose to prove the text by illustration. But I am fore- 
stalling our gossip, so good bye. Pray attend to the 
business part of this letter, and do not neglect the pleas- 
ure part either. 

Pray congratulate Moxon for me on having an article 
on his sonnets in the " Quarterly," where I never had a 
line though I write odes ! 

89, Rue Longue, Ostend, Saturday, 10th Sept., 183T. 
My dear Wright, 

I received yours this afternoon. Your account of 
your brother's family, and still more of the funeral, is 
very gratifying, and contains all the comfort that one 
could have under such an affliction : it must have soothed 
your feelings very much to witness such an unusual 
demonstration. A man is not all lost who leaves such a 
memory behind him. I am heartily glad your reflections 
have such a scene to rest upon, connected with him, to 
set-off against some of the bitterness of the deprivation. 

You may be at ease about me, my health has not de- 
layed the Comic ; but I w^as so forward with the cuts, I 
thought it worth while to wait to send them all at once 
instead of by detachments ; and accordingly I shall de- 
spatch them to you next week. What a comfort to think 
that they will not have to be six weeks on the way ! It 
makes a vast difference. I except the frontispiece. Did 
I understand you that Harvey would do one ? His pen- 



202 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS' HOOD. 



cil is worth having — that tliere may be something artist- 
like ; but if any doubt of delay say so at once, as I 
should in that case prefer knocking one off myself. 
With regard to the two setters, do it by all means ; the 
motto, "Together let us range the fields," is the best. 
Have it drawn according to your own idea of it. You 
will find in the box a list of the mottoes, and the blocks 
will be numbered as before. I am in good spirits about 
it, as the " Comic " will, must, and shall be earlier than 
common this year. I will send an announcement in time 
for the Magazines. And now for the fishing plate. I 
did not know there was such a hurry, so laid it aside ; 
but I will take it up again. If I do it, it will come by 
one of next weeh^s posts. I do not know of anything 
more we want per parcel, unless you have a spare copy 
of the " Tower Menagerie." Do not forget two or three 
copies of " Eugene Aram " unbound, and one or two of 
last " Comic." But you had better see the Dilkes, for 
we have strong hopes of their coming out, and they 
would perhaps bring what we want. 

Don't think of any beer ; we get good here now. The 
poem in the " Athenaeum " about Ostend confirmed us in 
our hopes. I suspect it is written by Sir Charles IMor- 
gan (Lady Morgan's hub.), who has heard them talking 
of it. I wish they may come, as there is a chance now 
of their enjoying themselves ; and I should like to talk 
over German matters with him. 

By the way, we have heard from Franck, who has 
been off into Silesia with recruits. He sent the money 
for the fishing-tackle; and our banker at Coblenz ad- 
vised me that he received it, and sent it off on the 12th 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



2G3 



of last month ; but it has never reached here yet. I 
suspect that post-office at Coblenz has kept it, so that 
they have even done me after leaving them. They 
tricked me once before. * * * For my part, I say, 
hang party ! There waiits a true country 'party to look 
singly to the good of England — retrench and economise, 
reduce taxes, and make it possible to live as cheap at 
home as abroad. There would be patriotism, instead of 
a mere struggle of Ins and Outs for place and pelf. 
Common sense seems the great desideratum for gover- 
nors, whether of kingdom or family. I suspect the prin- 
ciples that ought to guide a private family would bear a 
pretty close application to the great public one ; their 
evils are much of the same nature — extravagance, lux- 
ury, debt, &;c. Thanks for your recipe : I may try it 
some day, but I am shy of stimuli. I do not suffer either 
under lowness of spirits ; now and then I feel jaded 
rather, and indulge perhaps twice in a week in a single 
glass of sherry : my appetite is better than it used to be. 
I always eat breakfast now ; so if I can but conquer the 
lung-touch, or whatever it is, I shall do. I think I have 
got a fair set of cuts, and have some good stories for the 
text of the " Comic ; " so that I am going on quite " as 
well as might be expected." 

Are the other German cuts done ? I have a hint to 
give you about the cutting the " Comic," — not to cut 
away my blacks too much, as they give effect. I am not 
sure whether some of the German cuts do not want black, 
but perhaps they 'print up more. I am so pleased with 
your ideas of the fables, I think I shall do them next 
after the German book, with nice little illustrations. 



2G4 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



Jane is getting dozy, and so am I, for it is twelve 
o'clock ; so I must shut up. Tom is very well, and talks 
of " Mr. Liglit and Jim Co." Oysters are in here ; that 
is to say, they send every one of them up to Brussels. I 
think I '11 petition the King about it. My swallow seems 
disposed to migrate on that account to the capital. 

Ilang their shelfishness ! confound their grottoes ! I 
own I did look forward to the natives, but one cannot 
have everything in this world. As the 'prentices say, 
" I 'm werry content with my wittles in this here place ! " 
Our kindest remembrances to yourself and all yours. God 
bless you. 

My dear Wright, 

Yours ever truly, 

Thos. Hood. 

There is a clergyman wanted (Church of England) 
for this place, salary £ 130 per annum. There 's a 
chance for a poor curate ! Tell Dilke of it. It 's a 
fortnight since I heard of it ; perhaps it may be gone. 

39, Rue Longue, Ostend, 16^7i October, 1837. 
My dear Wright, 

According to promise to B , I sit down to write 

to you to-day. 

* * * * 

On the subject of my health, I feel somewhat easier, as it 
seems to give me better eventual hope. God knows ! 
It has been a great comfort to me, and gone somewhat 
towards a cure, to feel myself within distance, and have 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



265 



such posting and sending facilities. The receipt of tlie 
" Comic" cuts in three or four days actually enchanted 
me. Altogether, in spite of illness, I have done more this 
year. I feel I only want health to do all. I do not lose 
time when I am well, and am become, I think, much 
more of a man of business than many would give me 
credit for. 

Now for your main subject ; and I wish with you, we 
could talk it over instead of writing. There are so many 
points I should like to know something about. Such an 
idea as a periodical it would have been impossible at Cob- 
lenz to entertain for a moment. Indeed, some months 
back I should at once have rejected the notion from sheer 
mistrust of my health. But I have now more hardihood 
on that score, and shall turn it well over in my mind. I 
have no doubt in the world that such a thing well done 
would pay handsomely, but I do not yet see my way 
clear. For instance, it is hardly possible for the first of 
January, seeing that the " Comic" and the German book 
have to be done. Then there must be two numbers of 
the new work, for I would not start without a reserve in 
case of accidents, or the whole craft would be swamped 
in the launching. Moreover, the idea is yet to seek, as 
much, indeed all, would depend on the happiness of that. 
There is no end of uphill in working with a bad soil. 
Now I am not damping ; but one must look at the proba- 
bilities and possibilities, and count chances. As for com- 
ing often before the public, — as I mean to do that any- 
how, it goes for nothing. Nor am I afraid of its running 
the " Comic " dry, fragmentary writing being so different, 
that what is available for one will not do for the other. 

VOL. I. 12 



2G6 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



So I shall seriously keep my eye on it, in the hope of 
some lucky thouglit for a title and plan. Such an inspi- 
ration would decide me at once perhaps. In such a case 
we must have a consultation somehow, as writing not 
only is unsatisfactory, but takes up so much time. 

Please God I be well the year next ensuing, the "Com- 
ic" will take up but one-quarter of my time, and I must 
have some work cut out for the rest. I fancy the fables 
for one thing, but that would be light. I do not think I 
fall off, and have no misgivings about over-writing my- 
self ; one cannot do too much if it be well done ; and I 
never care to turn out anything that does not please my- 
self I hear a demon whisper — I hope no lying one — 
I can do better yet, or as good as ever, and more of it ; 
so let 's look for the best. Nobody ever died the sooner 
for hoping. I do not know that I can say more on the 
subject ; it must be vague as yet. Of course, January is 
the most important ; but if it cannot be done, I have no 
doubt of February, health being granted. But I would 
a thousand times rather talk over all these things instead 
of writing of them. I am glad to get rid of the pen and 
ink if I can, out of school-hours ; and there is a sort of 
spirit of freshness about viva voce that on all joint affairs 
is much more invigorating than scribbling. 

We are getting into the Slough of Despond about the 
Dilkes. No word from them since we wrote. It will be a 
disappointment if they do not come, as our hopes have 
been strong enough for certainties. And now, my dear 
fellow, I must close, for I am so tired I shan't add any- 
thing but Good night. 

Yours ever, 

T. Hood. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



267 



21st November, 1837. 

My dear Wright, 

In a hasty note to B , I made an angry piece of 

work, which yours received to-day does not serve to un- 
pick. I complained that, for want of reporting progress, 
I was at a loss to adjust any matter to the finis, and 
behold the fruit. 

Had I known that the Song from the Polish and Hints 
to the Horticultural made some twenty-two pages instead 
of sixteen (as I reckoned by guess), I should hardly have 
written two unnecessary articles. 

They were, in fact, the drop too much that overbrims 
the cup. But for them I should have come in fresh ; but 
through those, and, above all, the nervousness of not even 
knowing if those two articles before had been received, I 
half killed Jane and half killed myself (equal to one 
whole murder) by sitting up all Saturday night, whereby 
I was so dead beat that I could not even write the one 
paragraph wanted for preface, whereby five days are 
lost. 

I suppose there was a gale at Dover, for what you had 
on Saturday ought to have reached on Friday. I guessed 
the " Hit or Miss " well enough, as I can count lines in a 
poem, but prose beats me, having to write it in a small 
hand unusual to me. 

Of course my sending a short quantity would cause a 
fatal delay, and I was hardly convinced even with the 
two superfluities that I had done enough. It is a nervous 
situation to be in, and I do not think you allow enough 
for the very shaky state of health that aggravates it. I 
am getting over it by degrees ; but at times it makes rae 



268 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



powerless quite. It is physical, and no effort of mind can 
overcome it — I could not have Avritten the end of pref- 
ace to save my life. Indeed, Sunday I was alarmed, and 
expected an attack. 

I am rather vexed the " Concert" will not be in, as I 
like it. I think such short things are good for the book. 
Had it been in the palmy days of the " Comic," I should 
have given an extra half sheet ; but now I can't afford 
anything of the kind. However, I am not sorry to have 
two articles to the fore. Should the re-issue be decided on, 
the " Concert " will do for the first number, with a prose 
article I have partly executed. I think it is a very likely 
spec, and the best that can be done under circumstances. 
There is a tarnation powerful large class, who can and 
would give one shilling a month, and cannot put down 
twelve shillings at once for a book. I know / can't, and 
you would hesitate too. 

I suppose you have heard of Dilke's opiiiion of the 
monthly thing. I quite agree with him, that because it 
has been done, is rather against than for the chance. 
The novelty is the secret. Non seqintur that something 
like 's would do, because his has done. 

Whether / could not make a hit w^ith a monthly thing 
is another question — but the more unlike to his the 
thing is, the more chance. Now I do not despair of find- 
ing some novelty, which for the same reason as the re-issue 
of the " Comic," it might be best to do monthly : but as 
you must know, that all depends on a happy idea, grant- 
ing a neiu and lucky thought, I should start on it directly, 
and I shall keep it in mind, for I shall want something to 
fill up my leisure with. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



2G0 



We looked to have an account of the Guildhall Din- 
ner — pray send the fullest one. I think I can make 
use of it even yet. We don't see the " Times " now 
Grattan's gone away. 

However, one against the other, we don't miss them. 
As I expect a longer letter from you to morrow, I shall 
shorten this. On the other side I repeat the end of the 
preface, for fear of the first edition not reaching you. It 
was sent via Calais ; and please note, and tell me, when 
it arrived. 

You will understand "Potent, Grave, and Reverend 
Signiors " to face the opening of preface, as if addressing 
them. 

Take care of your cough, lest you go to Coughy-pot, 
as I said before ; but I did not say before that nobody is 
so likely as a wood engraver to cut his stick. 

Tuesday, list November, 1837. (New style.) 
Pray send off a very early copy to Devonshire House. 
It is only fair, as I have abused you, that I should 
thank you for seeing the " Comic " through the press at 
all. I forgive all your errors beforehand, as I know mis- 
takes will happen. Pray accept, then, my sincere and 
earnest thanks for the more than usual trouble I fear I 
have given you, for I could not guide you much in tlie 
cut-placing. God bless you. 

Yours, dear Wright, 

Ever truly, 

Thos. Hood. 



270 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



39, Rue Loxgue, Ostend, 2nd December, 1837. 

My dear Doctor, 
I have several times been on the point of writing to 
you ; but firstly came a resolution to try first the effect of 
the place on me ; secondly, the Dilkes ; and, thirdly, the 
" Comic." Indeed, an unfinished letter is beside me, for 
(some time back) there seemed to be a change in the as- 
pect of my case, to which I can now speak more de- 
cidedly. 

I have done the " Comic " with an ease to myself I 
cannot remember. 

We are also very comfortable here. Fanny is quite 
improved in health, getting flesh and colour, and Tom is 
health itself. Mrs. Hood, too, fattens, and looks well. I 
have got through more this year than since I have been 
abroad. I wrote three letters some months ago in the 
" Athenaeum " on Copyright, which made some stir, and 

I have written for a sporting annual of B 's. Also 

in January I am going to bring out a cheap re-issue of 
the " Comic " from the beginning, so that my head and 
hands are full. I know it is rather against my com- 
plaint, this sedentary profession ; but in winter one must 
stay in a good deal, and I take what relaxation I can ; 
and, finally, ''necessitas non habet leges." I am, not- 
withstanding, in good heart and spirits. But who would 
think of such a creaking, croaking, blood-spitting wretch 
being the " Comic ? " At this moment there is an artist 
on the sea on his way to come and take a portrait of me 

for B , which I believe is to be in the Exhibition ; 

but he must flatter me, or they will take the whole thing 
as a practical joke. Of course I look rather sentimen- 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



271 



tally pale and thin than otherwise just at present. I 
must take a little wine outside to give me a colour. I 
have a little very pure light French wine, without brandy, 

which I take occasionally. I got it through B , but 

do not drink a bottle a week of it — certainly not more. 
One great proof of its being genuine is, that it is equally 
good the second day as when first opened. French wine 
is cheap here : it only cost me, bottles and all, under 
fourteen pence per bottle. 

We had an agreeable fillip with a visit from the Dilkes, 
accompanied by his brother-in-law and sister, who have a 
relation at Bruges. It put us quite in heart and spirits, 
for we are almost as badly off here as in Germany for 
society. Not but that there are plenty of English — but 
such English — broken English and bad English — scoun- 
drelly English! 

To be sure, I made an attempt at acquaintance) and it 
fell through as follows. Coming from Germany with my 
heart warm towards my countrymen, and finding there 
was even a literary man in the same hotel, I introduced 

myself to Mr. G . He came here afterwards with 

his family, and we were on civil terms, exchanging paper.s, 
&c., till at last they even came to lodge underneath ; but 
we never got any nearer, but farther off from that very 
neighbourly situation — in fact, we never entered each 
other's rooms, and they left without taking leave. There 
was no possible guess-able cause for this ; but from what 
I have seen, and since heard, I rejoice that it " was as it 
was." So I determined to stick as I be. The intercourse 
is so easy, we see a friend occasionally ; for instance, IMr. 
Wright has been across to see us. There is also a possi- 



272 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



bility of seeing an English book now and then. Nay, 
there is a minor circulating library two doors off, but Jane 
and I had such reading appetites, we got through the 
whole stock in a month, and now must be content with a 
work now and then — say once a month. But we go on 
very smoothly, and as contentedly as we can be abroad. 
Almost every Fleming speaks English more or less, and 
our lodgings are really very convenient, and our landlord 
and lady very pleasant people. 

He is not an old man ; but was a soldier, and marched 
to Berlin ; and he is a carpenter hy trade, but paints, 
glazes, and is a Jack of all trades. I have in my own 
little room a chamber organ, and I discovered the other 
day that he had made it himself, and he quite amuses me 
with his alterations, contrivances, and embellishments of 
the premises. He dotes, too, on children ; and Tom is 
very fond of him, and of his wife, too, but declares he 
will not dance any more with Madame, because " she fell 
down with him in the gutter, and kicked up her heels." 

He gets a very funny boy, with a strange graphic 
faculty, whether by a pencil or by his own attitudes and 
gestures, of representing what he sees. I have seen boys 
six years old, untaught, with not so much notion of draw- 
ing, and he does it in a dashing, off-hand style that is 
quite comical. His temper also is excellent, and he is 
very affectionate, so that he is a great darling. Fanny 
goes to a day-school, and is getting on in French, and 
improving much. So that I only want health at present 
to be very comfortable, and for the time being, I am better 
where I am than in London. I have as much cut out for 
me as I can do ; and am quiet here, and beyond tempta- 



MEMOKIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



273 



tion of society and late hours, living well, and cheaply to 
boot. I seem in a fair way of surviving all the old an- 
nuals — most of them are gone to pot. My sale is noth- 
ing like the first year's, but for the last three or four it 
has been steady, and not declined a copy, which is some- 
thing. The re-issue promises well. 

If I were but to put into a novel what passes here, 
what an outrageous work it would seem. 

This little Ostend is as full of party and manoeuvring 
as the great City itself — or more in proportion. I ver- 
ily believe we have two or three duels per month. 

There have been not a few about the minister at the 
Church — both parties having a man to support — and 
one gentleman actually fought three duels on the ques- 
tion. 

Some of us are very dashing, too; but it is a very 
hollow Ostend'tation. But I like the natives ; they are 
civil and obliging, and not malicious, like the Rhine- 
landers. The English benefit them very much, and they 
seem in return to try and suit them. Indeed the preva- 
lence of speaking English amongst the very lovrer class 
does them credit, and reflects disgrace on the " Intellect- 
ual Germans " of the Rhine, who do not even speak 
French, which here is very general also. I believe this 
to be a very prosperous, happy, and well-governed 
country. 

Their kitchen-gardening, I forgot to say, is very 
excellent. 

The vegetable market is quite a sight; much of it 
better, and all as good as English. 

And now I take warning to close. Jane is very anx- 

12* . R 



274 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



ious to explain to Mrs. Elliot that she has not been 
unwilling, but unable to write. I have written you but 
a stupid desultory letter, but hope you will get the 
" Comic " about the same time, and that it may prove 
more amusing. 

I am still rather languid, and have had to write be- 
sides on business : but having a spare hour or two, and 
something decided to say on my health, would not defer 
longer. I am unfeignedly glad to hear of your profes- 
sional success, and also find from Dilke's report that I 
have to congratulate you on your brother's connection 
with Mr. C . 

Pray give our kindest regards to Mrs. Elliot, and 
Fanny's love and Tom's, w^iich is always overflowing to 
" Wilhe ; " and God bless you all as you deserve. 
I am, my dear Doctor, 

Yours ever truly, 

Thos. Hood. 

extract from a letter to c. w. dilke, esq. 

December Aih, 1837. 

Jane and I were very much concerned to hear so bad 
an account of Mrs. Dilke. We hope none of it is attrib- 
utable to her trip. I can now sympathise in degree, 
leeches and all ; but it is perhaps as well to have it, if 
possible, set to rights at once. Pray beg that she will 
send us word hoAv she goes on. Jane laughed heartily 
at her description of the journey to Calais. But it 
served you right. Here our mail, charged with letters, 
with business public and private to forward, will stay in 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



275 



port if the weather is bad ; but you, only for pleasure, 
must set out on a day you were not to be let out upon, by 
your own confession, as if the devil drove you, and for 
what hurry ? Why to wait at Dover for the worst fog 
ever known ! ! ! Werdict : " Sarve 'em right ! " 

* * * * 

Please to thank Mrs. Dilke for her kind message to 
me ; and tell her not to be bothered with indexes, &c., to 
the " AthenjBum." I cannot help wishing for her sake 
that the little Doctor might be proscribed again, he 
might do much more good to her than he will, I fear, to 
Spain. 

What three hundred-power donkey wrote that tragedy 
in last " Athenasum ? " 




276 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



CHAPTER Y. 

1838. 

At Ostend. — Illness. — " Hood's Own." — Mrs. Hood to Mrs. Dilke. — 
Portrait Painted by Mr. Lewis. — Letters to Mr. Wright, Lieut. De 
Franck, and Mr. Dilke. 

I INSERT the following letter from my mother to 
Mrs. Dilke as an example of the illness and harass 
under which most of my father's works were com- 
pleted. 

39, Rue Loxgue, Ostend, Feb. 24, 1838. 
My dear Friend, 
I write a few lines, for I am sure you have all been 
sadly vexed and uneasy at the last account I sent to 
Wright, and the non-appearance of anything for " Hood's 
Own." On the Wednesday morning we sent for Dr. B., 
in hopes that he might suggest something serviceable. 
All Tuesday Hood had been in such an exhausted state 
he was obliged to go to bed ; but I was up all night, 
ready to write at his dictation if he felt able ; but it was 
so utter a prostration of strength, that he could scarcely 
speak, much less use his head at all. The doctor said it 
was extreme exhaustion, from the cold weather, want of 
air and exercise, acted upon by great anxiety of mind 
and nervousness. He ordered him port wine, or said he 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



277 



might safely drink a bottle of Bordeaux, but tliis would 
not do ; and the shorter the time became, the more ner- 
vous he was, and incapable of writing. I have never 
seen Plood so before ; and his distress that the last post 
was come without his being able to send, was dreadful. 
"When it was all over, and since, I have done all I can to 
rouse him from vain regrets, and to-day he is better. 

* * * * 

I will not alcempt to describe our harass and fatigue 
from days of anxiety, and nights of wakefulness and 
sitting-up. 

* * * * 

I have nothing to tell you new% and am, with love 
to all, 

Yours aflfectionately, 

Jane Hood. 

After the post was gone — and the pressure therefore 
removed — my father recovered, as will be seen in the 
following letter. 

39, Rue Longue, Feb. 28, 1838. 

My dear Wright, 
The books per Stewardess arrived in port Monday 
night, but are not delivered yet, thanks to that folly the 
Carnival, which plagues other houses besides the Customs. 
In Coblenz it was kept up by the tradesmen. Here it is 
the Saturnalia of the lowest class. They have been 
roaring about the streets all the two last nights, our ser- 
vant no doubt among them. She applied to be out two 
whole nights running ( how your wife will lift up her 



278 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



eyes! ), and insisting it was the custom of the place, we 
could not refuse. She masqueraded, too, as a broom-girl. 
The first night she got her mask torn, and to-day, after 
her second night, can hardly crawl with a swelled foot — 
maybe from a fight, nobody knows what, but it has given 
me quite a disgust. Neither Germans nor Flemings 
ought to Carnivalise — though the Germans have one 
advantage. I have heard very good singing in parts 
from the common people about Coblenz, but never did I 
hear such howling and croaking as here. They beat our 
ballad-singers in London all to sticks. 

Now I think of it, was there ever a Flemish singer of 
any celebrity? I do not recollect one. How Rooke 
would enjoy " Amalie's " popularity in Ostend ! Shall I 
send him over a Flemish Rainer Family ? It would be 
at least a novelty. Murphy seems done vp lately ; but 
his very style, full of long mazy sentences, is quackish, 
and seems purposely mystified. I have thought of two 
cuts for him. Low Irish, with pots and sacks, looking 
out for a " shower of Murphy's ; " and " the prophet a 
little OM^," i. e. caught in a shower without his umbrella. 
I think he does n't understand the Pour Laws. 

No local news, only another bloodless duel at Bruges. 
I have hopes our frost has gone — I noted some wild 
geese yesterday going back to the " nor'ard," and every 
one of them is a IMurphy. Give my kind regards to 
everybody — I can't stop to enumerate, my head is so 
full of "My Own." Take care of yourself, and when 
you dine, don't leave off hungry — leave off dry, if you 
like. I am, dear Wright, 

Yours very truly, 

Thomas Hood. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



279 



In this spring Mr. Lewis came over to paint the pic- 
ture which forms the frontispiece to " Hood's Own/* 
The likeness was an excellent one. 

OsTEND, April 5, 1838. 

My dear Wright, 
I have just received " Hood's Own," and it looks like 
a good number. The cuts come capitally, including 
Scott's, which is a great acquisition. I am satisfied in 
print with the Elland article and Grimaldi : I had partly 
written some verses for the latter, but luckily did not 
risk going on with them, or all might have hitched. It 
was not my fault but my misfortune, for I had been fin- 
ishing the Elland article all night in bed, and was copy- 
ing out the Murphy when the last minute arrived for the 
mail. I did afterwards hope you would guess the case, 
and " take the very bold, daring, presumptuous liberty," 
perhaps, of getting the ghost off the stage as you could. 
I have read of one, that would not go off, being hustled 
away by the performers. But bygones must be bygones ; 
it might have been worse. There are better than two 
sheets of a " Comic Annual." I was shocked to see no 

more advertisements, and parodying a note of B 's, 

I might write "I am not the man to say Die'' — but, 
by the Lord Harry, you must get me fresh advertis^e- 
ments ; that will give me fresh vigour to work on the 
letter-press and cuts ! By the way, as you say, the 
notices get very frequent and favourable ; they ought 
to be saved, as it might be advisable to print them some 
day in an advertisement, as they did formerly with 
the Athenaeum. A thing that gets frequent and favour- 



280 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



able notices ought to move, if properly pushed. Has 

B done anything abroad ? Brussels is particularly 

full, — Paris, — America. — There are plenty of Eng- 
lish to buy cheap books, and with so many cuts, it cannot 
be pirated. I do not think the field has been even 
yet properly beaten, and the one-shilling book is the 
very thing where a twelve-shilling one w^ould not do. 

For the next Number, I propose " Hieroglyphical 
Hints," — a paper on the dismissal of the yeomanry 
with the old " Unfavourable Review," that you had 
a hand in turning into a libel on Mrs. Somebody and 
her close carriage. I think of writing something from 
a black footman on the Emancipation question. 

* * * * 

I get my papers very irregularly. For instance, 
I have not yet had last Sunday's "Dispatch." This 
is bad, and might be very unfortunate, as in the charge 

against me of plagiarism. Pray tell B to blow up 

that " d d boy that puts papers in the wrong box," 

and please then desire said boy to row his master 
for sending wrong advertisements. I mention this for 

B 's sake, as well as my own, because he must be 

badly seconded in other cases as well as mine. 

I am quite satisfied and pleased with your arrange- 
ment of No. 3, and only regret, my good fellow, I have 
to give you so much extra trouble. Do go out of town 
and refresh ! Poor Rooke ! How Amalie's nose is put 
out of joint! for of course you will now sing nothing 
about Herts, Essex, Middlesex, and Kent, but "This 
is my eldest daughter, Sir!" Take care of her now 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 281 



you have got her, at last. Some infants are squatted 
on, like the "spoiled child."* Mind, and whenever 
Mrs. Wright looks fatigued and sedentary, take care 
to hand her a chair. Now and then, a child is turned 
up with a bedstead, but that could not happen, if the 
maids slept in hammocks. Mind how you nurse her 
yourself. Never toss her up unless you are quite certain 
of catching her, a butter-fingered father might become 
wretched for life in a moment. Don't let her go up 
in your study among the wild young men. "What do 
you think of her for our Tom? Don't give her a 
precocious taste for lots o' daffy ; or a box at the Opera. 
You ought to know better than dream of operatising, 

yourself such an invalid. I have never d d or 

t d out since at Ostend, and am going, to-morrow, 

for the first time, but only to my doctor's, and if any- 
thing happens, he will be at hand. 

How do all the boys like the Gal ? Poor things ! I 
never knew a dozen brothers, but one sister managed 
to tyrannise over 'em all. Have you got a dictionary 
name yet ? If I might propose, I should say christen 
her " Mary Wollstonecraft," as the supporter of Female 
Wrights ! 

You must not be out of heart about your cough, — of 
late years the spring has brought an almost certain influ- 
enza in England as elsewhere. Easterly damp winds 
are the cause. I have been teazingly coughing, and 
Jane is wheezy, but what proves it to be injluenzialy 
is that Tom, Junior, is as hoarse as a crow. How 

* One of the cuts in " Whims and Oddities," engraved by Wright. 
— T. H. 



282 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



should we weak ones hope then to escape ! For he is 
a young horse for strength, and indeed, has adopted 
from " Nimrod's Sporting," the name of " Plenipoten- 
tiary ! " 

There is a genteel blot, as the clerk said, on my scutch- 
eon. That comes of foreign paper. Jane, at the other 
side of the table, is grumbling at it too. Thanks for the 
fishing-tackle, — all right, — and gone to Bromberg. I 
wish the Prince Radziwills would go to the Coronation 
and bring Franck with them. But, no ! Prussia, and 
Russia, the two great enemies of England, are to col- 
league together in a family party instead. There is a 
great conspiracy there, or I 'm mistaken, but it will fall 
through, — say I Murphy'd it. For Mrs. Wright's bene- 
fit, I must tell you now, the finis of our maid, Mary. 
She insisted on two whole nights' leave at the Carnival, 
as being customary, and came home each morning be- 
tween seven and eight, so done up she could hardly stand. 
At last, one evening there came by a jolly, roaring, set of 
Carnivalites that quite set her agog the moment she 
heard the singing, if it might be called so ! She took 
leave instanter, came home next morning, jaded to death, 
and had occasion to take some soda I Of course we paid 
her off on the spot, and have since learned she used to 
persecute a waiter we called Cheeks (ask Lewis about 
him), and go out on the sly, and drink brandy-and-water 
with him. She was seen at the Carnival with petticoats 
up to her knees, bare-legged and be-ribboned, in the 
character of a broom-girl. Won't Mrs. Wright bless her 
stars there is no Carnival in England ? Greenwich fair 
is next to it as performed here. And even the respec- 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



283 



table people join in it, the tradespeople and all, and the 
children of the gentry go about in character, — some of 
the banker's here did, for example. By the bye, did I 
ever tell you of an incident the other day. There was 
going to be a grand religious procession, and a fine gilded 
car, or chariot containing a figure of the Virgin, which 
was to be filled with angels, represented by children with 
spangled wings, &c., and our landlord, who was engaged 
in preparation for it, came to borrow Tom for an angel! 
Just fancy Jane's great horror and indignation, — I could 
hardly appease her by suggesting that it was a compli- 
ment to his good looks.* 

And now, I must shut up : I will send as much and as 

often as I can. Give my comps. to B , and tell him 

to get a whole No. of advertisements. Seriously, we 
must both stir our stumps, and I do my best. What 
would he say now the Copyright Bill is coming on again, 
to reprinting my letters as a pamphlet, as proposed be- 
fore ? 

What would n't I do if I had health and bodily 
strength ? Pray for that when you pray for me, for 
without it, what a clog to one's wheel ! 

And now, God bless you and youts, including Miss 
Wright — only think of a mile of daughters ! there is a 
family of Furlongs coming to live here, whereof eight 
are daughters — 8 furlongs = 1 mile. 

I confess I shed some " natural tears " at being denied a chance 
of wings. When the procession did come off, I remember, tlie har- 
mony of the car was not exemplary, for the angels were all " fallen " 
to fisticuffs, like a lot of little Benicia Boys and girls, or Hee-nans and 
She-nans. — T. H. 



284 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



Give my kind remembrances to all friends of ours, and 
believe me, 

Dear Wright, 

Yours ever truly, 

Thos. Hood. 

Two more commissions! What a bother I am; but 
would you let somebody inquire where to get it, and send 
me two packets of vaccine matter by the stewardess next 
Saturday, and a German grammar for Fanny, with 
plenty of exercises for young beginners ; and pray thank 
E. Smith kindly for the seeds he was sow kind as to send. 
Is anybody coming out a Maying ? 

39, Rue Longue, July 3, 1838. 

My dear "Wright, 
I was disappointed at not receiving the " Hood's Own" 
per Liverpool, not from eagerness to see the dear origi- 
nal's reflection, but I was anxious to see how the Intro- 
duction read. I have seen it partly in to-day's " Athe- 
naeum," and it reads decently well. I shall want a* 
" Progress of Cant," and also some old " London Maga- 
zines" from J. H. R. I am struggling to get early this 
month with my matter so as to give you as little trouble 
as possible. The weather has been up to to-day very 

* This was a large outline etcliing, caricaturing all the humbugs of 
the day. Some of the figures are worthy of Hogarth — and the hits 
are felicitous to a degree — for instance, the stout parson, with his flag 
" No fat livings," in close proximity with one inscribed " The Cause 
of Greece," — or the banner of the pious barber, " No Person is to be 
Shaved dm-ing Divine Service," wherein an unlucky rent robs 
" shaved " of its " h." — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



285 



SO-SO. I have had only one sail, and it did me such man- 
ifest good, that I quite long to get to sea again, but either 
there is no wind, or rain with it. You will be glad to 
hear I am getting better slowly. I wish, my dear fellow, 
you may be able to give as good an account of yourself 
Pray send me a full and particular bulletin. And, in the 
meantime, please to present my best thanks to Mrs. 
Wright for the cane, and tell her it is quite a support. I 
seem to walk miles with it. 

3» * « « 

Did I give you the history of a steamer built at 
Bruges ? They quite forgot how she was to get down 
the canal, and they will have to take down the brick- 
work of the locks at a great expense — some 1 500 francs 
instead of 25 ; all along of her width of paddle-boxes. 
Well, the other day, 10,000 people assembled to see her 
launched ; troops, band, municipals, everybody in their 

best ; and above all Mr. T , the owner, in blue 

jacket, white trousers, and straw hat. So he knocked 
away the props and then ran as for his life, for she ought 
to have followed ; but, instead of that, she stuck to the 
stocks as if she had the hydrophobia. Then they got 
200 men to run from side to side, and fired cannons from 
her stern, and hauled by hawsers, but " there she sot," 
and the people " sot," till nine at night, and then gave it 
up. She has since been launched somehow^ but in a quiet 
way quite ; she looked at first very like an investment in 
the stocks, and I should fear her propensity may lead her 
next to stick on a hank. The only comfort I could give, 
was, that she promised to be vejy fast. To heighten the 



286 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



fun, the wine was chucked at her by a young lady who 
thought she was going ; I know not w4iat wine, but it 
ought to have been still champagne. 

And now, God bless you and yours, take care of your- 
self, and mind and send us an account of how you feel, 
and what your doctor says of you. The vicissitudes of 
such weather try us feeble ones. I am anxious to know 
whether you think your new doctor's course has pro- 
duced any marked effect. Don't B mean to come, 

or don't he not ? If he and Mr. S would make the 

trip together, it might be pleasanter, and we have ac- 
commodation for two, and especially a tall one for B , 

for whom an accommodation bed ought to be like an 
accommodation bill — the longer it runs, the better. 
When you see Rooke, pray thank him handsomely in 
my name for " Amalie " — though I do not quite find the 

airs suit my compass. What Jane has said about F 

please to make me a partner in — and tell E. Smith 
that our Sandy soil has Scotched the flowers, so that he 
would n't know them for his seedlings. But Jane is very 
proud of them, as they are very good for Ostend. Our 
festival of Kermesse has begun, and will continue for a 
fortnight, and then we are to have the King and Queen 
next month, when your royal gaieties are over and gone. 
What does Dymock think of being cut out of the pa- 
geant ? I suppose he will pretend that he " backed out." 
I shall try if I cannot have a verse or two about the Cor- 
onation. I went to know if any distinction was shown 
to Art, Science, or Literature on the occasion. Was 
the P. R. A. there ? Had the live Poets admissions to 
the Corner ? What became of the V. R. at the Prus- 



MEMOKIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



287 



sian amba=;?ador's ? He seemed only to compliment 
Frederick William with initials. How wonderfully well 
the mob behaved ; but then, to be sure, they are not 
Tories ! I am glad they cheered Soult. 

And now I must shut up, and believe me, dear Wright, 
Yours ever very sincerely, 

Thos. Hood. 

39, Rue Longue, A Ostend, July 3, 1838. 

I SAY Tim, 

If you are dead, write and say so ; and if not, pray 
let me hear from you. Perhaps you were killed at the 
taking of Spandau — or are you married — or what 
other mortality has happened to you ? or have you had 
the worst of a duel — or taken a fancy to the Russians 
and gone to St. Petersburg ? Perhaps some very great 
" Wels " has pulled you in — or have you been to 
Antonin ? 

The chief purport of this letter is to inquire about 
you, so you must not look for a long one — but we are 
getting uneasy, or rather too uneasy to bear any longer 
your silence — fearing that in the unsettled state of Prus- 
sian and Belgian relations, the intercourse may have 
become precarious. 

I sent you a box containing your fishing-tackle, a 
" Comic," some numbers of " Hood's Own," and the 
sporting plates, which I calculated ought to reach Brom- 
berg about the 20th of April. It was directed to Lieut, 
von Franck, 19th Infanterie Regiment, Bromberg en 

Prusse, with the mark 




288 



MEMOEIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



I paid the carriage to Cologne, and sent a proper dec- 
laration of the contents. Jane, at the same time, wrote 
per post to announce it, with an especial request for an 
acknowledgment of its arrival ; so that we begin to fear 
that neither the box nor the epistle has reached its des- 
tination : pray write and let us know ; because, in case 
THE case has stuck at Cologne, I will write from here, 
and you send inquiries for it from there, i. e., Bromberg. 

We are going on as usual. I am getting better, but 
slowly; my monthly work, and the very bad season, 
having been against me. I shall be better when I get to 
sea, but till last week I have been unable to boat it ; we 
have had fires within the last ten days. Springs are, I 
suspect, going out of fashion with black stocks. Jane 
and the ' kin ' were on board with me, and I wish you 
could have seen the faces and heard the uproar they 
made. It was an ugly, long, narrow craft enough, for a 
short sea; three lubberly Flemings for a crew, and 
myself at the helm. Jane groaned and grimaced, and 
ejaculated, and scolded me, till she frightened the two 
children, who piped iu chorus. Tom, like a parish clerk, 
repeating after his mother, with the whine of a charity 
boy in the litany, " Oh, Lord ! " &c. &c., and then very 
fiercely, " Take me home — set me ashore directly ! 
Oh, I '11 never come out with you again ! " and so forth. 
So we have parted with mutual consent, so far as sailing 
is concerned, which is very hard, as I cannot take out 
any other ladies without Jane, the place being rather apt 
to talk scandal, — and one of our female friends here is 
very fond of boating. For my own part, I have been 
lucky enough to get a capital little boat, built under the 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



289 



care of an old English shipmaster, and his property — 
all snug, safe, and handy — so that I mean to enjoy 
myself as a marine. 

In the meantime, Jane has made a voyage to England 
and back, which I shall let her relate. She had fair 
weather out and home, and prefers a dead calm to a liv- 
ing storm. I suppose I must take to sea-fishing, as there 
is some fresh-water fishing, but the canals are too much 
of thoroughfares to my taste, who enjoy the contemplative 
man's recreation — only with one companion. I some- 
times wish for the Lahn. 

It was odd enough — but on our return from Bruges 
fair in the barge, an English family came with us on 
their way from Coblenz, where they settled in the Schloss 
Strasse just before we left. He gave the same account 
of the people as I do, and was a fisherman — but caught 
nothing but dace. 

England is all alive now with the Coronation. Why 
did you not egg on one of the Prince Radziwills to visit 
Her Majesty via Belgium, with yourself in his sweet. 
I read the other day that some of the 30th were coming 
to Luxemburg. When our railroad shall be finished, it 
will only be two days' post from Cologne to this — and I 
have just taken my lodgings for another year — Verhum 
sap. 

We expect several guests this summer from Eng- 
land — one of Jane's sisters and a dauorhter amonojst 
the rest — and we know a few people here — but the 
majority are not worth knowing, being of the scamp 
genus. 

We still have an undiminished liking to the place, 

VOL. I. 13 s 



290 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



which suits our quiet " domestic habits," though it is 
notorious as dull, amongst the notoriously gay. 

We know enough to be able to get up a rubber when 
we feel inclined, besides " taking our three." I get ex- 
cellent Bordeaux here, and bought a cask with my Doc- 
tor, only thirteen or fourteen pence English per flask, 
whereof on the last 23rd May, I did quaff one whole 
bottle out of a certain* Bohemian Goblet to my own 
health, not forgetting the donor of the said vessel, which 
has a place of honour in my sanctum. 

What a bore it is, Johimy, that you are not in the Bel- 
gian service ; most of its garrisons are near, it would be 
but a holiday trip to come and see you. Were I, as I 
once was, strong enough for travel, I should perhaps beat 
you up even at Bromberg via Hamburg. But I shall 
never be strong again — Jane got the verdict of our 
friend Dr. Elliot, that the danger of the case was gone, but 
that as I had never been particularly strong and sturdy, 
I must not now expect to be more than a young old 
gentleman. But I will be a boy as long as I can in mind 
and spirits, only the troublesome bile is apt to upset my 
temper now and then. We are all a little rabid at pres- 
ent, for after having fires far into June, the weather has 
just set in broihng hot, and the children do not know 
what to make of it. 

* This is a large Bohemian glass goblet, of white glass, clear as 
crystal and without a flaw, decorated with amethyst medallions, 
and bunches of flowers. The shape is graceful, and it was highly 
prized by my father as the gift of Franck, who brought it from 
Bohemia. If I remember rightly he purchased it of the gipsies, 
who engraved the flowers. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 291 



The faces of Tom and Fanny are like two full-blown 
peonies, or two cubs of the brood of the Red Lion. Tom 
is a very funny fellow. The people of the house try to 
talk to him, and as they speak very bad English, he 
seems to think that they cannot understand very good 
ditto, and accordingly mimics them to the life. You 
would think he was a foreigner himself when he is talk- 
ing to them. Fanny is learning German and French, 
and makes up by her quickness for some idleness. 

She is very much improved, and gets stouter, as she 
was too thin, w^hilst Tom gets thinner, as he w^as too fat ; 
as for Jane, all my London friends said she had never 
looked better, so that I doubt the policy of walking out 
with her, for it makes me look worse than I am. 

You will judge when I send you a proof of my por- 
trait, which is to be in the next number of " Hood's 
Own," on the 1st July. It is said to be very like. 

I have no new^s to give you ; but there are plenty of 
rumours. Of course you were at the grand review at 
Berlin. Tell me all the particulars you can, and of your 
fishing, in which I take great interest, though now but a 
sleeping partner. I quote at the end of this a few words 
about Salmon. I expect a friend out here on a visit, 
who is very fond of the rod. By the bye, I must not 
forget to tell you, that the other day, which proves there 
must be some sort of fishing, my Doctor was called out 
of his bed in the morning by an Englishman, who mum- 
bled very much, and on going to the door, found him 
with a hook, and not a little one, through his own lip. 
He had been tying it on by help of his teeth, and by a 
slip of the line had caught himself, genus fish. Being 



292 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 

a Belgian hook, like the German, Avith the shoulder at 
one end and a barb at the other, it Avould not pull through ; 
but had to be cut out. Lucky he had not gorged it. My 
leaf is full,* so God bless you says, 

Yours, Tim, 

Ever very truly, 

Johnny. 

Kind regards to Wildegans. 

Tom, Junior, sends his love to you and Carlovicz and 
Wildegans. He said to his mother this morning, " I love 
you a great way ; " so he can love as far as Bromberg. 
It has just occurred to me, that there may be a reason 
for your silence I never thought of before. You are 
promoted and in the first pomp of your captainship, and 




too proud to own to us privates. If that is not the reason, 
I can think of no other with all my powers of imagina- 
tion. Perhaps it is your D — Douane that always both- 
ered my own packages. I hate all Customs, and not 



* The other leaf was left for my mother to -write on. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



293 



least the Prussian. I wish all the officers would confis- 
cate each other. Sometimes this hot weather, I should 
like a glass of Rudesheimer, one of the few things I care 
for that is Rhenish — Bow, wow, wow ! 

The next is to Mr Franck, who had been laid up at 
Posen, and had had his head shaved. 

OsTEND, August 20th, 1837. 

My dear Franck, 
I have been laid up again, but this you will say is no 
news, it happens so often. A sort of bastard gout, with- 
out the consolation of being the regular aristocratic mal- 
ady, as if I were an aristocrat. By the way, I almost 
rejoice politically in the results of your own illness, you 
were always an abominable Tory, but now must needs be 
a moderate wig. But as Gray says : 

" To each their evils — all are men 
Condemn'd alike to groan." 

You (to speak as a fisherman) complain of your hair 
line, and I of my gut, which I fear has some very weak 
lengths in it. I hardly go ten days without some dis- 
agreeable indigestion or other, which is the more annoy- 
ing as here the victuals are really good. Moreover, I am, 
in a moderate way, a diner-out ; for instance, the day be- 
fore yesterday, at the Count de Melfort's, whom I had 
known previously by his book, the only one that ever co- 
incided with my Views of the Rhine. 

In fact, in spite of keeping quiet, I am a little sought 
after here, now I am found out. A friend of Byron's 



294 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



wanted to know me the other day, but I was laid up in 
bed ; and now Long AVellesley (Duke of Wellington's 
nephew), my old landlord is here, and asking after me. 
Luckily, there are so many lame men here, I am not sin- 
gular in my hobble, for though I have got rid of the 
rheumatism these ten days, the doctor gave me a lotion 
with cantharides therein, that has left me a legacy of blis- 
ters. Then again what an abominable swindhng season ! 
The winter embezzled the spring, and the summer has 
absconded with the autumn. 

A fig for such seasoning, when the summer has no 
Cayenne, and in July even you wish for your ices, a little 
mulled. I have only managed to keep up my circulation 
by dint of sherry, porter, and gin and water ; and nine 
times out of ten, had it come to a shaking, I should have 
given but a cold right hand. That is one of my symp- 
toms. In the meantime the Belgians are bathing daily, 
but I observe they huddle together, men and women, for 
the sake of warmth, at some expense to what we con- 
sider decency. As for Jane she is very willing to believe 
that winter is absolutely setting in, as an excuse for wear- 
ing her sables.* They are very handsome, but no thanks 
to you on my part, considering a hint that I have had, 
that it is a dress only fit for a carriage ! I don't mean, 
however, to go so fur as to set up a wheelbarrow. Many 
thanks, however, for your views of our old piscatory 
haunts, which cannot lead one into any extravagance, for 
here there is no fishing. It is another Posen in that re- 

=* Mr. Franck had sent my mother a very handsome set of sables. 
After her return to England, she was so unfortunate as to lose all that 
were not stolen, within an incredibly short space of time. — T. H. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 295 



spect — but mind, do not go and marry for want of better 
amusement. Talking of aquatics, a pretty discussion 
you have got me into by your story of the beavers on the 
Elbe. I have repeated it, and been thought a dupe for 
my pains — indeed, I began to believe you had hoaxed 
me, but only this afternoon I have found a Confirmation 
of the Baptism in a book of Natural History. 

In the Berlin Transactions of the Natural History So- 
ciety, 1829, is an account of a ftxmily of beavers, settled 
for upwards of a century on a little river called the Nuthe, 
half a league above its confluence with the Elbe, in a se- 
questered part of the district of Magdeburg. There ! 
To be candid, I always thought you mistook for beavers 
the Herren Hutters, or gentlemen who always wear their 
castors. But why talk of keeping on one's hat to a man, 
who can hardly keep on his own hair ? Methinks in- 
stead of sables you ought to have bought of the Russian 
merchant a live bear, to eat up the little boys that will 
run after you, as they did after Elisha, crying " Go up, 
thou baldhead ! " Of course the Radziwills, who made 
you so retrench your moustaches, will be quite content 
with you now ; but I hope you will not slack in your cor- 
respondence in consequence, although I must expect to 
have more balderdash out of your own head. As for 
Wildegans, he will forget that you ever had any hair, 
and will take you for some very old friend of his father's, 
or perhaps for his grandfather. 

For my own part, as promotion goes by seniority in 
your service, I do hope you may have an opportunity of 
taking off your hat to the king, who cannot make any- 
thing less than a major of such a veteran. In the mean- 



296 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



time you cannot be better off than in the 19th, which has 
so many Poles to keep yours in countenance ; you see 
how little sympathy I profess, but having fancied you 
killed, wounded, or missing, in some riotous outbreak, I 
can very well bear the loss of your lochs, as you are upon 
the hey vive ! 

Moreover sickness is selfish, and invalids never feel 
acutely for each other. 

The only feeling I have on hearing of another patient 
in the town, is a wish, that, whilst about it, he would take 
all my physic. When I can make up a parcel worth 
sending you, you shall have a copy of my face, to hang 
on the gallows for a deserter, if you like. Tim, says he, 
either I shall get over this liver complaint, and be a 
portly body, or the liver complaint will get over me, and 
I shall die like a Strasbourg goose. How lucky I should 
have a decent interval of health for that march to Ber- 
lin ! I often recall it, Tim, trumpet-call and all, and wish 
you were one of our military. 

I do not know how the Belgian question goes on, but 
would not advise you to attack us, for in case of a re- 
verse, your Rhinelanders are not the firmest of friends to 
fall back upon. Your Posen Bishop is a donkey for his 
pains ; a Needle, if it enters a piece of work, ought to go 
through with it. For my part I like fair play. I would 
have everybody married, and blessed, how they please, 
Christian or Jew. Privately I really believe marriages 
between Jews and Catholics would make capital half-and- 
half, one party believing too much, and the other too 
little. 

I wear no mitre, but if you should wed a Polish Jew- 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



297 



ess, you shall be welcome to my benediction. But theit3 
has been a precious fuss about nothing. You say the 
Bromberg ladies, old and young, were very kind during 
your illness, and sent you nourishing food. You have 
omitted to mention whether they considerately masticated 
it beforehand. Yes? Of course you will have some 
fishing at Antonin. Pray present my best respects to 
the princes. Were I as young as I am old in health, I 
would come and beat up your quarters at Posen, but my 
travelling is over, in spite of steam and railroads ; so, if 
we are to meet again in this world, I am the mountain, 
and you, Mahomet, must come to it. 

My domestic habits are very domestic indeed; like 
Charity I begin at home, and end there ; so Faith and 
Hope must call upon me, if they wish to meet. And 
really Faith and Hope are such ramblers, it will be quite 
in their line, so with all faith in your friendship, and a 
Lope we may some day encounter in war or in peace, 
I remain, my dear Johnny, 

Your true friend, 

Tim. 

Tom, Junior, sends his love and says, " if you will 
come he will give you a kiss, and teach you to draw^ 
Vanity is born with us, and pride dies with us ; put that 
into German by way of metaphysics. Give my love, 
when you see him, to the King of Hanover, and God 
grant to those he reigns over a good umbrella. I have 
many messages in a different spirit, which you will be 
able to imagine, for my old comrades, for instance, Carlo- 
vicz. You do not mention " Ganserich," has he forgotten 

13* 



298 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



to exist ; say something civil — as becomes a civilian — 
to the rest of your militaires on my behalf; you will see 
the colonel I guess, or are you the colonel yourself? It 
would be fatal now to your hair to have many go over 
your head. Have you ever tried currant jelly to it? 
Thank Heaven you require no passport, or how, as Heil- 
man said, would you get " frizze ? " Shall we send back 
that hair lock you gave to Mrs. Dilke ? No news except 
local, and you would take no interest in our abundant 
scandal, as you do not know the parties. To me it is 
very amusing, there is so much absurdity along with the 
immoralities ; it is like an acted novel, only very extrav- 
agant. You know that this is one of the places of refuge 
for English scamps, of both sexes. But the parson and 
I do not encourage such doings, we are almost too good 
for them. 

Saturday, 6 p. m., Oct. lOih, 1838. 

My dear Wright, 
Take care and do not get drunk with your Prussic 
acid. 

I wish you better health in a glass of sherry. I am 
concerned to hear you still suffer with your throat, but 
have hopes of your medical advice, as Elliot concurs. 

His offer is very kind, and pray avail yourself of it at 
need, as I have reason to know he is sincere in his kindly 
professions. I think also he has ver?/ great skill. For 
myself you Avill be glad to hear that I am at last taking a 
change I think for the better : partly from better weather, 
but greatly I think from the occasional use of a warm sea- 
bath, and partly, B says he thinks, I am wearing out 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



299 



the disease. Time I did, says you, or it would have worn 
me out. 

Something perhaps is due to a slight change of system, 
but I almost flatter myself, there is a change for the 
better. I have done without my doctor for an unusually 
long time, partly from being better, and partly from know- 
ing how to manage myself ; I have left off Cayenne and 

Devils, and such stimulants recommended by B . 1 

begin to think as they are supposed to be bad for liver 
complaints in India, they ought not to cure them in 
England, and referred to Elliot, Who said " No," very 
decidedly. 

But I have no great faith in the principles of my doc- 
tor here, though some in his skill, but without the first, 
the last goes for little. He shook my opinion lately when 
I had rheumatism, by giving me cantharides in lotion, 
which favoured me with a sore foot for weeks. It looked 
like making a job. I now eat well and have much less 
than before of those depressions, though hurried and well 
worked. The baths I do think very highly of. Should 
you see Elliot, ask him ; you might run over here for a 
fortnight, they are almost next door and cost little. Think 
of this seriously. I have not felt SO well from the 
1st January as during the last ten days: accordingly I 
am getting on, and, at the present writing, have a sheet 
of cuts, besides those sent, and some tail-pieces drawn. I 
expect next packet (on Tuesday), to send a good lot; 
they promise to be a good set, and I find the pencilling 
come easier, which is lucky, as they are to your mind too. 
So I am throwing up my hat, with hope of making a good 
fight. 



300 



MEMOKIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



I doubt whether the first article will be on the Coro- 
nation, which is stalish, but seem to incline to " Hints for 
a Christmas Pantomime, personal, political, (not party), 
and satirical." 

The baths I have in the house before going to bed, — 
no fear of cold. I strongly recommended them for Mrs. 
Dilke, and suspect they have gone to Brighton with that 
view ; we have been very anxious about her. 

I hope to send with this " the Reminiscences," but if 
not they will be certain to come with the cuts on Wednes- 
day; I am so full swing on the drawings, I hardly 
like to leave off to write. You say you are short of 
prose, but there is all " Doppledick." We heard to-day 
from P'ranck : he is well, and back, to his great joy, at 
Bromberg and his fishing ; he has at last caught a sal- 
mon of eleven pounds. He tells me a sporting anecdote 
of a gentleman he knows, that will amuse you as it did 
me. He was shooting bustards, of which there are 
plenty near Berlin. They are shy to excess, but do not 
mind country people at work, &c. ; so seeing a boy driv- 
ing a harrow, he went along with him, instructing him 
how to manoeuvre to get nearer. At last, wishing to 
cross to the other side of the harrow, he was stepping in- 
side of the traces, as the shortest cut, when at that very 
instant the horses took fright, and he was obliged to run, 
with the gun in one hand, taking double care between 
the horse's heels, and the harrow, which occasionally 
urged him on with short jobs from the spikes. It might 
have been serious, but just as he was getting tired out, 
the horses stopped at the hedge ; the gentleman, besides 
the spurring, having his breeches almost torn off by the 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



301 



harrow. Franck wants me to draw it, and truly a 
flogging at Harrow School, would hardly equal it for 
effect. 

Wellesley went back to Brussels to-day ; I declined 
dining with him, but he sent me venison twice, some 
Wanstead rabbits, birds, and a hare. We have been up 
the railway to Bruges in forty-six minutes, Brussels in 

six hours for nine francs ! Tell B to think of this. 

Count Edouard de Melfort wrote a book " Impressions of 
England ; " he is a cousin of the Stanhopes : the family 
are to stay here the winter, and as we like him and her, 
and they seem to like us, they will be an acquisition for 
the winter. They sometimes drop upon us, as he calls 
it, and we drop upon them. As to local news, lots of 
scandal, as usual ; I could fill a whole Satirist with our 
own town-made. I think the idea of " The Heads " a 
good one, but do not like the specimen either as to the 
head, or the style of the writing; and now God bless 
you. I must to work again, and leave Jane to fill up 

the rest. Kindest regards to Mrs. W from 

Your ever, dear Wright, 

Very sincerely, 

Thomas Hood. 

N. B. My hand aches with drawing, I am going to 
bed for a change. 

Pray put in again the advertisement of Harrison's 
Hotel in " Hood 's Own," and keep it standing to the end ; 
kind regards to everybody all round my hat. We had 
a complete wreck, close to the mouth of the harbour, 
such " a distribution of effects," no lives lost, but such a 



S02 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



litter, as Jane would call it. The cook's skimmer was 
saved, at all events, for I saw it. 

There was a soldier shot to death at Franck's last 
review — putting stones in the guns ! The confusion on 
our rail is great, one may easily go on the wrong line ; 
two of our party at Bruges were actually in the wrong 
coaches, but were got out in time ; I shall make some fun 
of this. We have had the Nagelmacher family from 
Liege, and INIiss Moore, lodging for a fortnight on the 
floor below, but they are gone again. How goes on the 
Amaranth, or off rather? And have you seen the 
Bayaderes ? Our new opposition steamer is come — 
" Tlie Bruges " — a very fine boat. But how will the 
fish like the railroad, seeing they now have such facilities 
for going by land, there will be many more fish out of 
water ; who can calculate the results in future, of railroads 
to bird, beast and fish — besides man? We have 
begun fires in my little room, quite snug. Tom is going 
into trousers for the winter, and is very proud of it. He 
complained the other day that "Mary washed all the 
Jlavour off his face." 

Well, I must shut up ; I have done a good day's work, 
and leave off not very fagged, but rather cocky, as the 
tone of this will show. Give me but health and I will 
fetch up with a wet sail, (but not wetted with water). 
Who knows but some day Jane will have a fortune 
of her own, at least a mangle. Has your mother 
sold her mangle ? I admire Harvey's " Arabians " 
extremely. 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 303 



Novtmber 22nd, 1838. 

My dear Wright, 
I have no immediate occasion for writing, but hoping 
that my chance letters may be as agreeable to you as 
yours are to myself, I sit down partly for your sake and 
partly for mine own, as it is pleasant to exchange the 
pencil for the pen. I have just sent you off nine more 
principal cuts : in my list I have put " Off by Mutual 
Consent " and " All Round my Hat" as principals, and 
so you can make them, should I not send you others in 
lieu by the packet that leaves here on Saturday, when I 
hope to send you all the drawings, tail-pieces and all ; 
exclusive of frontispiece, which I should be really glad 
if Harvey would do for me, however slightly, I sending 
an idea for it, as I am very short of time. The effect of 
" Hood's Own " has been to somewhat hinder the 
" Comic," by preventing that quiet ybrethinking which 
provided me with subjects, but I have done wonders on 
the whole. 

The " Comic " is always a lay miracle, and done under 
very peculiar circumstances ; perhaps being used to it is 
something, though the having done it for so many years, 
and having fired 700 or 800 shots, makes the birds more 
rare, i. e. cuts and subjects. But somehow it always is 
done, and this time apparently by a special Providence, 
God knows what I did, for the " Hood's Own " was the 
utmost I could do. Strange as it may appear, although 
little as it is, it amounts probably on calculation to half a 
" Comic," as to MS. But I literally could do no more, 
however willing ; the more 's the pity for my own sake, 
for it was a very promising spec. For the rest I feel 



304 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



precisely as you do about " My Literary Reminiscences," 
but the fact is all I have done, I hoped to do in one or 
two numbers. For instance, the very last time I was 
thus thrown out. 

As usual, I had begun at the end, and then written 
the beginning ; all that I had to do was the middle, and 
breaking down in that, you had but a third of what I 
had intended. It was like a fatality. Moreover I never 
wrote anything with more difficulty from a shrinking 
nervousness about egotism. 

But although declining to give a life, I thought it not 
out of character to give the circumstances that prepared, 
educated, and made me a literary man — which might 
date from my ill-health in Scotland, &c. Should I be as 
well as I am now, I hope to fetch up all arrears in Nos. 
11 and 12: and it may be advisable to give a supple- 
ment, as, after December, I shall be free of the " Comic," 
and it may help the volume of " Hood's Own," with lit- 
erary letters from Lamb, &c. &c. &c. This is my pres- 
ent plan, and perhaps the 13th No. would partly help to 

sell up the whole. But advise on this with B , &c. 

In the meantime you will have a good batch for next 
No. : allowing me as long as you can, perhaps the whole 
first sheet, and more afterwards. This I know to be 

mine own interest — I would not have B lose on 

any account, much less on mine. "With letters, &c., I 
could fill a good deal when I am once clear of the 
" Comic " — about which I am in capital spirits. I think 
I have a good average set of cuts, and some good subjects 
for text. But above all, as the best of my prospects, 
and for which I thank God, as some good old writer 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



305 



said, " on the knees of my heart," is the, to me, very un- 
expected improvement in my health, which I truly felt 
to be all I want towards my temporal prosperity. The 
change has been singularly sudden for a chronic disease. 
I wish I could hear as good news of Mrs. Dilke as this, 
which I beg of you to convey to them. Pray say that 
as far as I can judge, a radical change for the better has 
taken place. I have some thoughts, as a finisher and 
refresher after the " Comic " (both for body and mind), 
of dropping in on them for three or four days — in which 
case you will not have further advice. I want to talk 
over the German book with him, which I shall most 
assuredly soon get through, health permitting, in the 
course of February or March. 

I do most seriously, comically, earnestly, and jocosely 
tell you that " Richard is himself again," and therefore 
you need not, Hibernically, have any fears on Tom's 
account : which last word reminds me of your kindness 
in going through all mine — for which I thank you as 
earnestly, as I know you have been engaged on the work. 
You must occupy yourself much on my behalf, and I can 
make you no return but to say that I feel it, which I do, 
very sincerely, or I should not take so much to heart as 
I do, the good effects of Prussic acid on your complaint, 
and wish the three drops which would kill any one else, 
could render you immortal, at least as long as you liked 
to be alive. But it does seem, or sound an odd remedy, 
like being revived by the " New Drop." 

I am writing a strange scrawl, but my hand is cramped 
by drawing. Otherwise, " I am well, considering" as the 
man said, when he was asked all of a sudden. Some- 

T 



306 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



times I feel quite ashamed of these bulletins about my 
carcase, till I recollect that it is too far off to be of inter- 
est merely as a subject. Seriously I believe I am better, 
and if I enforce it somewhat ostentatiously on my friends, 
it is because I have achieved a victory unhoped for by 
myself! 

To allude to the battle of Waterloo, I should have been 
glad to make it a drawn game, but I think I shall escape 
the Strasbourg pie, after all. 

The above was written sometime back, and given up 
from sleepiness. I have now yours of the 19th. Glad 
you like the cuts — I think they are a good set. To-day, 
or to-night rather, have sent off three more large, which 
if you take in " Off by Mutual Consent," will make up 
the six sheets. Also three more tail-pieces, in all forty- 
eight and eleven. A dozen more tail-pieces will do. I 
wish Harvey would do the frontispiece, I am so very 
short of time. Methinks the lines 

" Mirth, that wrinkled care derides, 
And Laughter holding both his sides," 

would supply a subject. The " Reminiscences " I must 
send you on Saturday by the " Menai ; " our post comes 
and goes so awkwardly. 

Thank God I keep pretty well, — a day or two back 
rather illish, but took a warm bath and am better, won- 
derfully, considering my " confinement." After the Cus- 
tom-house stoppage, no fear for some time of any hitch. 
It only cost three shillings, as the woman says. 

I hope Mr. C. will not forget the books I wrote for, by 
next Saturday's boat. Pray send me proofs, rough or 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



307 



anyhow, of all the cuts you can, as they help me in writ- 
ing. Do not forget this. Bradbury's proofs will do. It 
is getting very wintry, and I and the fires are set in — in 
my little room. You talk of a grand Christening Batch 
— but what is to be the name of " my eldest daughter, 
Sir?" Tom exclaimed pathetically this morning, "I 
wish I had 7ione teeth ! " He is cutting some that plague 
him ! He draws almost as much as I do, and very funny 
things he makes. He picks up both Flemish and French. 
"We went to a French play the other night, and I was 
much amused by an actor very much a la Power. It set 
me theatrically agog again. Perhaps — who knows ? — 
I may yet do an opera with Rooke ! In the meantime, I 
shall some day send you the piece that was accepted by 
Price, with a character for Liston, for you to offer to Yates. 
Jane is going to write, so I make over to her the other 
flap. We were much rejoiced to hear good news of Mrs. 
Dilke, as we had not had a word. Pray tell Dilke how 
much better I have been, and take care of yourself, and 
believe me, with God bless you all, 
Yours very truly, 

Thomas Hood. 

What a capital fish a dory is ! We had one for din 
ner t' other day. Good — hot or cold. 

OsTEND, Dec. 17, 1838. 

My dear Mrs. Dilke, 
As I always came to your parties with a shocking bad 
cold, I now write to you with one which I have had for 
three days running. But it was to be expected, consid- 



308 MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



ering the time of the year and the climate, which is sd 
moist that it's drier when it rains than when it don't. 
Tlien these Phlegmings (mind and always spell it as I 
do) — these Phlegmings are so phlegmatic, if it 's a wet 
night, your coachman won't fetch you home, and if it 's a 
cold one, your doctor won't come ; if he does, ten to one 
you may forestal his prescription. If it 's a sore, a carrot 
poultice ; if an inward disorder, a carrot diet. I only 
wonder they don't bleed at the carotid artery ; and when 
one's head is shaved, order a carroty wig. The only 
reason I can find is that carrots grow here in fields-full. 

Well, my book is done, and I 'm not dead, though I 've 
had a " warning." The book ran much longer than I 
had contemplated, and I 've left out some good bits after 
all, for fear of compromising Franck and my informants. 
It has half as much writing again as the " Comic," and 
I told Baily to consult Dilke about the price, as it has 
five sheets more paper and print than the Annual. 

We thought this week's " Athenaeum " much duller 
than the one before it ; it had n't such a fine hock fla- 
vour. I read the review six times over, for the sake 
of the extracts ; and then the extracts six times, for the 
sake of the review. If that is n't fair play between author 
and critic, I don't know what is. I have been prophesy- 
ing what will be Dilke's next extracts. We go on as 
usual at Ostend. Tell Dilke there are some other 
" friends " staying at Harrison's, a Captain B., alias K., 
and Sir W. J., said to be of large fortune. But what a 
residence to choose ! 

I heard also of two young men obliged to fly from the 
troubles at Hanover; but it turns out that they have 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



309 



robbed or swindled a Chatham Bank. So we don't 
improve. A Colonel B. has done W. out of 100/., and 
an English ladj, in passing through, did the banker here 
out of 78/. Then an Englishman shot at his wife the 
other day with an air-gun ; and Mrs. F. will not set her 
foot in our house again, because I gave her a lecture on 
scandal-mongering ; and the doctor has done Captain F. 
in the sale of some gin ; and the Captain talks of calling 
out the doctor for speaking ill of his wife ; and the De 
M.s are gone ; — a fig for Reid and Marshall, and their 
revolving hurricanes ! We Ostenders live in a perpetual 
round of breezes. 

I must now begin to nurse poor Jenny, who has had 
no time to mend and cobble her own health for soldering 
up mine. The children, thank God, are very well, and 
very good, and "so clever!" The other day, Jane ad- 
vised Fanny to talk to C (about her own age) to 

subdue her temper. " Oh," said Fanny, " she is so giddy, 
it would be like the Vicar of Wakefield preaching to the 
prisoners ! " Tom has taken to his book con amove, and 
draws, and spells, and tries to write with all his heart, 
soul, and strength. He has learned of his own accord 
to make all the Roman capitals, and labels all his draw- 
ings, and inscribes all his properties, TOM HOOD. He 
is very funny in his designs. The other day, he drew 
an old woman with a book : " That 's a witch, and the 
book is a Life of the Devil ! " Where this came from, 
Heaven knows. But how it would have shocked Aunt 
Betsy ! The fact is, he pores and ponders over Retsch's 
" Faust," and " Hamlet," and the like, as a child of 
larger growth. But he is as well and jolly and good- 
tempered as ever ; and as he is so inclined to be busy 



310 



MEMORIALS OF THOMAS HOOD. 



with his little head, we don't urge him, but let him take 
his own course. So much for godma and godpa. 

I cannot write more at present, as Mary is in the 
room, and she is a great listener. God bless you all ! 

Yours ever truly, 

Thomas Hood. 

P. S. — I shall thank Dilke for the two vols, of the 
Athenasum " when I write to him^ which will be after 
the tail of my review. The discovery at Treves, &c., is 
stale — I mean the window story — six years old at 
least. Puff of the K. of P. to gull John Bull of some 
money. 

P. P. S. — I forgot to mention that I had a little duel 
of messages with my " scandal-mongering " acquaintance * 
the other day. " Pray tell Mr. Hud," says she, " that I 
have no doubt but his complaint is a scurrilous liver ! " 
(schirrous). So I sent her my compliments, and begged 
leave to say that was better than a " cantankerous giz- 
zard!" 




END OF VOL. I. 



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by TiCKNOR AND FlELDS. 



15 



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